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Helen Cole

Helen Rose Verlander Cole, 105, of Harrodsburg, widow of Carroll G. Cole, died Sunday, April 14, 2019, at the Willows – Harrodsburg.

Born on Oct. 25, 1913, in Ellerson, Virginia, she was the daughter of the late Lewis Hunter and Mary Thomas Verlander.

She graduated from Smithdeal College in 1932, where she studied business and office management. During World War II, she worked at Langley Field in New Port News, Virginia as the personal secretary to Lt. General Frank M. Andrews. During her time there, she met one of the Wright Brothers, Charles Lindbergh and Chuck Yeager. She also met her husband, Carroll G. Cole. After World War II ended, they moved to Harrodsburg, Kentucky to raise their beloved children, Carolyn and John William.

Helen was an active member of the community and a woman of faith, a member of the Harrodsburg United Methodist Church, and former president of the United Methodist Women. She was a gifted pianist. She served as the church’s organist for many years. She also enjoyed playing for her grandchildren, who have fond memories of singing and dancing to her music. Helen loved to bake. Her family will warmly remember her raisin pie and “famous” strawberry cake. She grew award-winning African Violets. Through her eighties, she proudly worked in her garden at her home in Lexington, Kentucky, where she raised the azaleas she brought with her from her home in Virginia.   

She is survived by her children: John William Cole of Lexington and Carolyn G. Cole of Harrodsburg; her grandchildren, Aaron Ann Cole-Funfsinn (Greg) of Lexington, Catherine Cole Cimino (Greg) of New York and John Hart Cole (Karin) of Seattle; her five great-grandchildren, Sawyer James and Gus William Funfsinn of Lexington, Cole Rocco and Luca John Cimino of New York and Quinn Faith Cole of Seattle; and her niece, Patricia Verlander Skelton of Harrodsburg.

She was preceded in death by her siblings William Verlander (Ruth) and Dorothy Verlander Shelburne (George). Her family adored her and will miss her terribly.

The funeral service will be held 1 p.m., Friday, April 19, 2019, at the Ransdell Funeral Chapel by John Hockersmith and Allen Gibson. Burial will follow in the Spring Hill Cemetery, Harrodsburg. Visitation will be held 11 a.m., Friday, at the Ransdell Funeral Chapel.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Harrodsburg United Methodist Church.

Helen’s family wishes to extend its heartfelt gratitude to The Willows at Harrodsburg for their loving caring of Helen.

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