Shirley Ann (Fox) Cole passed away peacefully on Dec. 14, 2021, in Salem, Ore., after a year-long illness.
Shirley was born in Battle Creek, Mich., on Aug. 9, 1938. She graduated high school from St. Michael’s High School in Flint, Mich., class of 1956. After high school, Shirley moved to Atlanta, Ga., and married her high school sweetheart, James Duke, and had two daughters, Kimberly and Stephanie.
Several years later, Shirley moved to Southern California and later to Palm Springs where she met her second husband and love of her life, Chuck Cole. Chuck and Shirley were married for over 40 years and together had one daughter, Shannon. Shirley and Chuck lived for over 20 years on their almond ranch in Oakdale, Calif. A majority of Shirley’s career was spent working for State Farm Insurance for several agents with her longest tenure being with Robert “Bob” Carrere in Modesto.
Shirley was passionate about gardening, ceramics, painting, dogs and shopping. In 2002, Shirley and Chuck retired and built their dream home in the Trinity Mountains just outside of Hayfork. They lived happily in their mountain home often surrounded by their grandchildren. Chuck preceded Shirley in death in 2013 and Shirley remained in Hayfork until 2018 when she moved to Salem, Ore., to be closer to her daughter Shannon and grandchildren.
While in Salem, Shirley tended not only her own small garden, but the gardens of other elderly folks who were too infirm to do so themselves. Shirley also “dogsat” doggies belonging to friends to the point where she purchased a doggie bed to keep in her apartment for furry visitors. Shirley will be remembered for her kindness, her generosity, her stories and her faith. She was quick to make friends and impacted all who met her. Above all, Shirley was a beloved grandmother to her six grandchildren.
Shirley is survived by daughters Kim Fillette (Hayfork), Stephanie Duke (Atlanta, Ga.), and Shannon Bryant (Salem, Ore.); grandchildren Sean Finegan, Haley Finegan, Taylor Lee, Chloe Bryant, Sydney Lee and Miles Bryant; great-grandchildren Monet, Finegan, Nicholas, Nolan and Ayla.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Shirley’s name to ASPCA or Willamette Humane Society or to plant a flower or bush in her memory in a garden.
A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19, at the home of Shannon and Pete Bryant in Salem, Ore.