Marion Cole


Posted: Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Former Alaska resident Marion Cole died Saturday, Nov. 22, 2003, in Silver Dale, Wash. She was 93.

Mrs. Cole, born Marion Sophia Ingersoll in 1909, was one of 13 children of John and Harriet Ingersoll in Steuben, N.Y. At the age of 17, she became engaged to Milton Leon Cole.

In 1928, Mr. Cole came to Alaska with his father and a friend to file for a 160-acre homestead in Kasilof. The father returned to New York to gather the family, drive them across the country to board a steamship bound for Alaska in Seattle.

Mr. Cole met them in Ketchikan, where he and Mrs. Cole were married. They continued to Seward by boat, then to Anchorage by rail and to Kasilof on a boat in Cook Inlet.

Mrs. Cole went to Anchorage by boat to have her first child, Ramona, at the old Railroad Hospital and her second, Lyle, was born about a year and a half later in 1930.

Mrs. Cole did not share her husband's love of Alaska and persuaded him to move the family. They moved to Anchorage in 1932, while Mr. Cole worked at Emard's cannery to earn money to return to New York.

They settled in Alder Creek, N.Y., where Mr. Cole ran a gas station. Daughter Jetty was born in 1935. In 1936, they moved to San Fernando, Calif., where son, Russell, was born in 1938.

Mr. and Mrs. Cole made several trips back to Alaska to visit their son, Lyle, who moved to Kasilof, and friends. They worked for Colombia Ward while there.

"She was a great mom," her family said.

Mrs. Cole was preceded in death by her husband, Milton Leon Cole; her parents; and 11 siblings.

She is survived by her brother, Charles Wilbur of upstate New York; daughter and her family, Ramona Rettig of Sweet Home, Ore.; son, Lyle Cole of Kasilof; daughter and her family, Jetty Morton of Suquamish, Wash.; son and his family, Russell Cole of Sooke, B.C.; niece, Dolly Christl of Kasilof; and other relatives.

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