Karen Ethel Cole (nee Morey), age 71, of San Tan Valley, AZ passed into eternal life Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019 in Mesa, AZ.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, Jan. 9, at 10 a.m. at Berean Baptist Church in San Tan Valley, AZ, followed by a 1:30 p.m. graveside service at the Globe Cemetery, in Globe, AZ.
Karen was born May 9, 1947 in Prescott, AZ to Chester “Chet” and Doris Morey. During her younger years she lived in Prescott and Cottonwood, AZ. She attended Prescott’s Washington Elementary School for 2 ½ years starting Kindergarten at age 6. Over Christmas break of 1955/56 her family moved to Superior, AZ where her parents opened Morey’s Superior Jewelers.
During high school she wrote in an autobiography that her plan was “being an airline hostess, a secretary or a housewife. The first two offer excitement and the meeting of new people. The last the excitement of being married, having children, which generally means a family to love and care for.”
Karen graduated from Superior High School in 1965, and was admitted to Arizona State University (ASU) with Honors at Entrance, with a declared major of BA Secondary Business in the College of Education. It was at ASU where she met the love of her life, Dirl L. Cole. She married Dirl on Sept. 9, 1967, in Superior, AZ. She left college to work full time at Valley National Bank to support Dirl in finishing college where he was a ROTC Cadet. She moved with him to Fort Gordon, GA for Signal School training and Fort Hood, TX for duty. She became pregnant before Dirl was deployed to Vietnam.
She returned to Arizona and on Feb. 12, 1972, Karen gave birth to her daughter, Dorinda Cole, at Williams Air Force Base. Karen worked at her parents’ store and raised Dorinda alone for a few months as Dirl continued his Vietnam tour. She was pregnant with her second child when she moved to Clifton, AZ where Dirl obtained a teaching job for the 1973 school year.
On March 1, 1974, she gave birth to her son, Dirl “Mark” Cole, in Morenci, AZ. The family remained in Clifton until 1976, and then returned to Superior as her husband Dirl began a career with Superior Unified School District.
On Nov. 7, 1977 she gave birth to her son, Bryan Cole, in Miami, AZ. She lovingly raised her three children as a housewife until 1983 when she started working part-time as a Teacher\Lab Aide in both the elementary and high school. She later became a secretary in the high school, fulfilling another step of her high school plan. She lived in Superior until the end of 1996 when, following the death of her father, she moved to Claypool, AZ to be closer to her mother. Overall, she had over 20 years of service in Superior schools, and retired in the late 2000s. She truly loved working at the school and enjoyed the friends and memories made while living most of her life in Superior. After retirement she moved to San Tan Valley, AZ to be closer to her children in the Valley.
Karen was a deeply devoted Christian and a faithful and loving wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend to many. She was always there to comfort her husband in his time of need, assisted her children no matter where they resided, and lovingly cared for her mother and sister in the days leading up to their passing. As hobbies she enjoyed reading, crocheting and crafting. Her joy and love for life was evident to those that had the pleasure to know her. She lit up the room with her warm smile. She is dearly loved and will truly be missed.
Karen is preceded in death by her father, Chester Morey on July 13, 1996; mother, Doris Morey (nee Bryant) on Aug. 30, 2005; and sister, Kathy Edgar on June 29, 2018.
Karen is survived by her husband of 51 years, Dirl L. Cole; daughter, Dorinda (Jim) Johns of Gilbert, AZ.; son, Dirl “Mark” (Janice) Cole of Cave Creek, AZ; son, Bryan (Gina) Cole of Fife, WA; brother, Chester “Dale” (Kathy) Morey of San Tan Valley, AZ; and seven grandchildren, Amber, Katelyn, Connor, AnaSofia, LiliAna, Amelia, and John.
A Special Thanks to Kathy Morey (sister-in-law) and Peaceful and Comfort Assisted Living for the loving care they provided during Karen’s final month and days of life.