DENISE EILEEN COLE
December 1, 1950 ˜ October 28, 2021
Denise was a beloved mother, sister and friend. She passed peacefully with her family and best friend by her side Oct. 28, 2021. Denise will be remembered as a loving, playful, generous, creative, and joyful person.
Denise was born in Washington, D.C. to Doris and Leroy Cole. She spent her childhood years exploring the city and adventuring in the outdoors. Denise’s love of nature and exploration led her to hike much of the Appalachian Trail in her college years and fostered the confidence to move to Alaska in her early 20’s to attend the University of Alaska. It was in Alaska that she met her future husband and the father of her children, David. They were married in April of 1977 and welcomed daughter, Dawn, in 1978 and son, Dana, in 1980.
She returned to college in her 30s, discovering the exciting field of computer programming and graduated with a degree in computer science in 1989. Denise’s career took her around the country eventually bringing her to the Portland/Vancouver area. She loved to spend her free time hiking and exploring gardens and parks throughout the NW. She also enjoyed playing guitar and singing, sewing, knitting, thrifting, and reading.
Denise’s relationship with Jesus was extremely important to her and motivated much of her social activities. She was an active member of the community, volunteering with St. Vincent De Paul and Winter Hospitality Overflow, as well as her church, Columbia Presbyterian. She loved people and looked for opportunities to serve often.
Denise is survived by her children, Dawn Johnston and Dana Johnston, and her many friends whom she considered family.
Her family expresses their sincere gratitude to the caregivers at Community Home Health and Hospice for their compassionate care of Denise during her final days.
Denise’s Celebration of Life will be held at Columbia Presbyterian Church at 1:00 PM Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021.
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Published by The Columbian on Nov. 9, 2021.