Irene E. Cole, 94, of Clear Lake, IA and formerly of Stanley passed from this earthly life into eternal life on Wednesday July 8, 2015. Visitation will be from 12:30 to 1:30 pm on Thursday, July 16, 2015 at the Stanley Union Church in Stanley. A service to celebrate her life will be held at 1:30 pm on Thursday, July 16, 2015, at the Stanley Union Church. Interment will be in the Stanley Cemetery at Stanley, IA. Memorials may be directed to the Salvation Army and Wounded Warrior Project.
Irene Elizabeth (Clark) Cole was born on November 2, 1920 in Oelwein, IA, daughter of George and Julia (Robinson) Clark. Irene was born on Election Day that year, the first time in US history when women had the right to vote. Throughout her life, she honored that right. She loved her country and proudly displayed the American flag. Irene grew up and attended school in Stanley, IA graduating from Stanley High School as part of the class of 1938.
Irene married William (Bill) R. Cole on October 27, 1940 in Oelwein, IA. They lived in Stanley, IA most of their lives. They were blessed with four children: William “Dick”, Michael “Mike”, Kathleen “Kathy” and Larry.
Irene was the first woman in her community to be elected to the Stanley City Council in 1977, where she served for 12 years. During her lifetime, she was employed at several Oelwein businesses including: Oelwein City Laundry, Wilson Egg Company, Mercy Hospital and Floral Hills Memorial Gardens. She was then a secretary for 20 years in the Waterloo, Oelwein and Stanley schools systems.
Due to health reasons, Irene moved to Clear Lake, IA in 1999 in order to be closer to her family. There she also enjoyed spending time with her church family and playing cards with her new friends.
Throughout her 94 years, Irene took pleasure in the many simple things of life; listening to the birds sing, sitting on the front porch swing, smelling the fragrance that flowers bring, hearing the church bells ring, planting a garden in the spring, fixing a meal fit for a king, having a family to love and cling, and knowing God’s amazing strength and grace beneath His wings.
Those grateful for having shared in her life: William “Dick” and Betty Cole of Ames, IA, Mike and Carole Cole of Shell knob, MO, Jay and Kathy Mixdorf of Clear Lake, IA and Larry and Donna Cole of Superior, WI; her 12 grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great grandson and their families; her brother George Clark of New Hartford, IA; her sisters: Joan Provow of Des Moines, IA and Martha Sherwood of Princeville, IL; her sister-in-law JoAnn (Leo) Birchard of Waterloo, IA; her many nieces, nephews and friends.
Irene was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Bill; and her sisters: Louise Clark and Margaret Mason.
Irene will be dearly missed by all who knew her. As Bob Hope would say, “Thanks for the memories”.