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Obituary - Louise Cole


Last updated 11/23/2020 at 11:42am

Louise Cole

Louise Cole was born January 28, 1927, in Glasgow, MT. She passed away November 18, 2020, in Missoula, MT. Her family and friends have lost her presence but not her wonderful example to live life fully. She made every effort to lean in and thrive.

The early years of her long life were influenced by the great depression and the struggles that went with it. Perhaps that is the foundation of her attention to the needs of others. Her family was separated when work and income were scarce. At a young age, Louise lived in Montana, California and Washington sometimes staying with extended family. Reunions with siblings and parents were treasured.

As a teen, a trip with mutual friends to the Bear Paw Mountains was a first meeting with her future husband, Dick Cole. Beaver Creek Park and surrounding areas were frequently visited from that time forward. Louise was very comfortable in the outdoors to picnic, camp, and swim. Sometimes harsh weather treatment in Montana fashion led to plan B or C. One such occurrence happened in Glacier Park in the 1960s where torrential rain had mattresses floating in the tent. Later in life tents turned to cabins where the adventure was a little less challenging.

Her generation endured WWII along with many other notable events. Letter writing to young men fighting overseas and reading their responses was important to Louise. These seemingly small acts were actually very important for her and those fortunate addressees. Likewise, family and friends could expect to receive on special occasions a handwritten card or letter expressing words of support.

She also wrote short stories for grandchildren incorporating their names as characters, family pets and themes that would always have a happy ending. When read, the kids would beam hearing themselves as part of the plot.

One of Louise's most incredible abilities was to make each person she interacted with feel special. What a talent! If you came to her home, you would be made comfortable and leave better than when you entered. First time introductions, long time relationships, young or old would be greeted with warmth and generosity.

Carrying that forward is a legacy our current and future generations can strive for.

Knowing a picture is worth a thousand words, Louise built a stockpile. Memories and moments of gatherings, big and small, are well covered in her inventory of photos. If she couldn't be there and do the job herself, she'd instruct others to get some pictures and send them to her. She knew the value of what we have, how to share it and how to celebrate our time together.

Louise was impeccable in appearance. She knew how you look and how you feel work together. She looked great and projected a modest glamour in her clothing, jewelry and overall appearance. She did look like a million bucks whether at the grocery store, taking a walk down a Havre street or on the strip in Vegas.

Louise also exhibited an impressive commitment to community service and a successful professional career. As a member of St. Jude's Catholic Church preparing food for others during Thanksgiving was standard for her. She was a loan officer when she retired at a local bank. Louise was a leader and her dedication to family, career and community was looked up to by many.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Richard "Dick;" her parents, Vern and Mabel Irving; siblings Marion, Ken, Clyde and Florence.

She is survived by son Rick Cole and his wife, Linda, and their children, Laura and Christopher; daughter, Kathy Slonaker and husband, Bob, and their children, Melissa, Natasha, Joe and Matt; daughter Nancy Peterson and children, Jason and Jessica; son, Perry Cole and wife, Mary Jo, and their children, Kelly, Marc and Lisa, and son, Shawn Cole and wife, Michelle, along with their children, Skyler, Cerissa and Camber. Additionally, numerous great and great-great-grandchildren; sister Betty Turner and brothers-in-law Tom and Jim Cole survive.

The family wishes to recognize and thank Nancy for her compassion and care for Louise over the past several years. Also an expression of gratitude goes to the staff at Riverside Health and Rehabilitation in Missoula.

A private informal gathering next summer, virtual or in-person depending on circumstance, will be held to reflect and celebrate on Louise's life. Donations in honor of Louise can be made to Montana Food Bank at https://mfbn.org/donate .


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