Grace (Johansen) Cole

Posted: Wednesday, July 12, 2000

Lifelong Kenai resident, Grace (Johansen) Cole died from a long term illness Saturday, July 8, 2000, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. She was 84.

Funeral services will be held 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Russian Orthodox Church in Kenai. Archpriest Marcarius Targonsky will officiate. Burial will be at the Kenai City Cemetery. Following services, there will be a dinner served at Fort Kenay (directly across from the church). Everyone is welcome to attend.

Mrs. Cole was born Feb. 24, 1916, in Kenai, where she was raised and educated. She came from a family of 13 and helped her mother and stepfather to raise the little ones. Mrs. Cole worked for the post office in Anchorage during the early 1940s, before homesteading with her husband, Mal, in 1952 on Bernice Lake in Nikiski. She was a member of the Russian Orthodox Church and was an honorary elder of the Kenaitze Tribe. She loved gardening, especially flowers, and was an avid reader, photographer, and artist, painting in oils and water color. Her greatest joy was going over all the family pictures with her friends and family. She was especially fond of her miniature dachshund Cindy.

Mrs. Cole loved getting together during the holidays and listening to all the family talk and laugh and eat wonderful meals together. Her granddaughters, Jolene and Monica, were at her bedside constantly during this last stay at the hospital, doing everything they could do to make sure she was comfortable.

"She was surrounded by the love of her entire family either in prayer or in person the entire time," the family said. "We love you, mom, grama, grama great, sister, auntie, and friend. We will see you in heaven.

"She will be missed by all. Her special loves were her son and her daughter and their families. She would worry about all of them and they had to call and assure her that they were all OK," her family added. "She also loved calling her sister, Alice, who lives in Florida and flew up to Alaska before she passed away, and her brother and sister in-law; Eddie and Carol. She kept in touch with her other sister, Irene and her family as well. Grace had many special friends, Brenda Zubeck among them."

Mrs. Cole was preceded in death by her husband of 49 years, Malcom Cole, who passed away in May of 1993 and her son, Neil Madsen; mother, Mary Ness; father, Frederick Johansen; stepfather, Gus Ness; sister, Winnie Ness; brothers, Alexander Johansen, Tony Johansen, August Ness, William Ness, and Andy Ness.

She is survived by her son, Dan Madsen, of Nikiski; grandson, Dale Madsen and family, of Sterling; granddaughter, Wendy Graham and family, of Wasilla; daughter and son-in-law, Mary Ellen and Jimmie Gibson, of Soldotna; grandchildren, Jolene Grace and Matt Sutherland, of Kenai, Monica Elaine and Rich McGahan, of Nikiski; great-grandchildren, Michelle and Matthew Sutherland, both of Kenai, Jimmy Cole and Tessa McGahan, both of Nikiski; brother and sister-in-law, Eddy and Carol Ness, of Anchorage; sisters and brothers-in-law, Alice and Joe LaFountain, of Tampa, Fla., and Irene and Tom Wilcox, of Washington, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.



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