On Wednesday, May 13, 2020, Pearl Mae Cole, loving wife and mother of two children, went to be with her Savior at Schowalter Villa in Hesston, Kansas. She was 99 years old.
Pearl was born on July 28, 1920, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to Alfred L. and Hattie C. (McFee) Cook. The family was completed by the arrival of Pearl’s sister, Lela Opal, in 1921. On August 2, 1942, Pearl married Harper LeRoy Cole, Jr. in the Pilgrim Holiness church where he pastored. They raised a son, Stephen Leroy, and a daughter, Myrla Dawn.
Pearl made her life one of service. To her family she was a devoted wife and mother, and an energetic grandparent. To her church she was a faithful pastor’s wife, secretary, office manager, and loving teacher of little children.
Early in their marriage, Pearl and Harper pastored a Pilgrim Holiness church in Post Falls, Idaho. For the Church of the Nazarene in Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas, they started four local churches, pastored four other congregations and served in administration and academics at the denomination’s universities in Oklahoma and Tennessee. They ended their service to the faith in administration at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas.
In her final decades, Pearl returned to her birthright community as a member of University Friends Meeting, Wichita and, in her words, “found joy among the Quakers.“
Pearl expressed herself in words and colors by writing scores of lyrics and poems and painting dozens of oils and acrylics. Humor was her hallmark, making the difficult bearable and bringing joy to many hearts.
Pearl was preceded in death by her husband, Harper, her mother, Hattie, her father, Alfred, and her sister, Opal Burks. She is survived by her son, Stephen (Cheryl) and her daughter, Myrla (Kent) Haury; her grandchildren, Scott (Jen) Person, Heather Person and Jennifer (Geoffrey) Shafer; and great-grandchildren, Donald Rolston, Piper Rolston, Maximilian Shafer, Chloe Shafer, Ellie Person and Jason Person, and nephews Leonard Burks and Charles Burks.
Pearl’s family is planning a memorial celebration on July 28, 2020, which would have been her 100th birthday.
Those who wish to honor the life of Pearl are encouraged to make a gift to the Good Samaritan Caring Fund at Schowalter Villa. Please send your gift to:
Attn: Fund Advancement
200 W. Cedar
Hesston, KS 67062
Please indicate “Pearl Cole Memorial” in the memo portion of your check.