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Velma Arlene Cole

December 11, 1929 ~ August 8, 2018 (age 88)

Memorial services for Velma “Arlene” Cole will be held at 10 AM on Saturday, August 11, 2018 at Bonnerup Funeral Service, Albert Lea.  The Rev. Matthew Lehman will officiate.  Visitation will be from 4 – 7 PM on Friday at Bonnerup Funeral Service, as well as one hour prior to the service on Saturday.  Burial will be in Kerns Oak Grove Cemetery in rural Mankato.

Arlene passed away on Wednesday, August 8, 2018 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, MN.  She was 88 years old.

Velma “Arlene” (Church) was born on December 11, 1929 in Polk County, Nebraska to Herman and Florence (Branting) Church.  The family would move around, and Arlene would graduate from high school in Denver, CO.  On October 3, 1951, Arlene was united in marriage to Jesse Myron Cole in Denver, CO.  The couple was blessed to welcome a son, Garrett.  The couple lived there for 12 years before moving to Albert Lea; a place she called home since 1964.  Arlene would start her career working for the University of Colorado as a bookkeeper.  When she moved to Minnesota, she worked 7 years at AMCO in Mankato in the accounts receivable department.  In Albert Lea, she worked as a bookkeeper for Montgomery Ward for 9 years.  Arlene also enjoyed working at the bait shop that their family owned that was across the street from Ascension Lutheran Church. 

When Arlene wasn’t working, she enjoyed going downhill skiing with her husband.  Arlene was known for her beautiful artwork.  She often had displays of her drawings and paintings at Art In The Park, as well as the Lloyd Herf Show.  She would put a lot of her art in the fair, where she won many ribbons in her years.  She was also known for baking her delicious chocolate brownie drop cookies.  Her grandkids loved her baking!

Arlene is preceded in death by her husband, Jesse Cole; both parents, Herman (Florence) Church; daughter in-law, Beth Cole; siblings, Florine (Billy) Hoffer, Alma (Richard) Whittmore, Engelbert (Patty) Church, Eva Riblett, and a sister, Vera Church in infancy.

Surviving family members include her son, Garrett Cole of Albert Lea; granddaughter, Heather (Scott) Johnson of Onalaska, WI and children, Emily and Benjamin;  grandson, Cody (Cassandra Laite) Bennett of Albert Lea and children Avah, Honey, and Alexis; as well as many loving extended family and friends.

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