Edna Cockfield is famous in the Chi Omega house for her strawberry pretzel dessert, singing to house members and 38 years of preparing meals.
This Monday, Edna will celebrate her 75th birthday with a party from Chi Omega members spanning throughout nearly four decades.
“We see her every day. She’s like a mom,” said junior psychology major Laura Breier. “She’ll ask how your day went, how your weekend was and she always sings to us.”
As one of the longest-running employees on campus, Edna said the Chi Omega house has changed quite a bit since she first started as their cook in 1973.
“The way they dress is different, and so are their attitudes,” she said. “But I feel at home here.”
Edna said the best part of her job is talking to the Chi Omega members.
“I love talking to the girls,” she said. “But I do enjoy making some of the meals.”
Sophomore health science major Ashley Patel said she considers Edna a good friend.
“She entertains us as much as we entertain her,” Patel said. “She’s someone we can confide in. She always cheers us up and we cheer her up, too.”
Patel attended a Chi Omega convention two weeks ago, where she met former Bradley chapter members who remembered Edna.
“At one point we were all asked what we loved about being a Chi O., and I said our cook, Edna,” she said.
Former Chi Omega sisters still keep in contact with Edna.
“We had one [alum] in yesterday who kept in contact,” Edna said. “In fact, the house mom took me to a wedding about a year ago in August.”
Women who live in the house said Edna’s dedication and personality is what makes her special to them.
“She even came in on one of the snow days to cook food for all of us for three days,” Patel said. “With 26 girls, that’s not easy.”
Many Chi O. members had a favorite dish, listing meatballs, fruit pizza and monkey bread as some of Edna’s best.
“But every now and again someone will make me lunch or dinner,” Edna said.
In honor of Edna’s birthday, Chi Omega will throw her a card shower Monday with alums, as well as current members, on the guest list.
Edna said though her job is rewarding, she would not mind a break.
“I have worked so long because financially I have to,” she said. “It would be nice to retire, but I do love the girls.”