Dr. Katrina (Katy) Zagaruyka Cook

Katrina (Katy) Zagaruyka Cook, Ph.D.

December 9, 1983 ~ May 16, 2022


After a short, four-month battle with cancer, Dr. Katrina Zagaruyka Cook, 38, passed away suddenly on May 16, 2022, at KU Medical Center in Overland Park.

Katy was born December 9th, 1983, in Lawrence, Kansas. She graduated Co-Valedictorian from McLouth High School, then continued her education at the University of Kansas, where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Cognitive Psychology, and both a Master’s and Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Communication Studies, with an Emphasis in Legal Communication. While working on her Ph.D., Katy taught several college courses, including Speaker-Audience Communication, Problem-Solving in Teams & Groups, and Introduction to Behavioral Research Methods in Communication. During her years at KU, Katy formed many warm and lasting friendships that she enjoyed immensely.

Katy adored watching crime shows on television and was intrigued with how people’s minds worked. Juries, in particular, fascinated her, so she tailored her studies to prepare her for a career in the legal arena. In 2017 Katy started her Dream Job at Litigation Insights (now IMS Consulting) as a Jury Consultant. Her close connections with her IMS family helped her deal with the stress of such a fast-paced career.

Katy loved to travel, and was able to do so often, at company expense, which makes it so much more enjoyable! She spent hours playing video games, watching anime, and loved spending time with her family. Her true loves, though, were her cats, Loki and Romeo, whom she adored. They are 13 and 14 years old, gave her so much love and comfort over the years, and kept her sane.

Katy is survived by her mother Theresa (Tess) Zagaruyka, brother William (Will) Zagaruyka Cook, and her maternal grandmother Katherine (Kitty) Zagaruyka. She was blessed with a nephew, Gage, and niece, Sophira. She was preceded in death by her father, William Jay Cook, paternal grandfather and grandmother, William J.R. and Ione Cook, maternal grandfather, Fred (Zack) Zagaruyka, and uncle Fred J. Zagaruyka. She leaves behind a plethora of Zagaruykas and Cooks who will miss her dearly.

A celebration of life will be held for Katy on Saturday May 28th, at 2 pm at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home in Lawrence.

In lieu of flowers, Katy and her family would be forever grateful for any donations made to The Loki and Romeo Long Term Care Fund at The Cat Clinic of Johnson County, to help support them while waiting to find their next forever home.

Messages & Condolences

From Justin Zagaruyka...

Kary was a beautiful person who will be deeply missed by many. She really was the best of us.

From Joe Radcliffe...

Our prayers to Tess and Will and the entire family. Katy lived an extraordinary life, with an inspirational thirst for knowledge. She was always kind and loving. See you in the next life, Katy! Love always, Joe and Kathi Radcliffe.

From Nikki (Kessler) Pickens...

Katy was so very special to my sister, Amber, in childhood. May she Rest In Peace, I like to think they are back together up there. 💔

From Margaret Fast...

How heartbreaking. I’m so sorry for your loss Tess.

From Tamra Gengler...

Tess and family, I am so sorry for your loss. I remember how close you(Tess) were to your daughter, Katy. We never know the time or day we will pass, only God knows. My prayers are for you and your family for continued strength and comfort. God bless, Tamra Gengler

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