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Susan Ragan Cole


1923 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Susan Ragan Cole Obituary
Susan Ragan Cole August 7, 1923 - August 7, 2014 Susan Ragan Cole (nee Susan Jeannette Ragan) was a beloved wife, sister and parent who was born in Los Angeles, California, and raised in Burbank by her parents, Charles and Elsie Ragan, with her brother, Walton (Bud) Ragan. At a young age, Susan's interests included music, reading, singing, helping her father in their garden, and their many family pets. She attended Hoover High School where she sang in the school choir, learned to play piano, and showed extremely high promise academically. Susan attended Occidental College in Los Angeles where she earned her Bachelor's Degree, majoring in mathematics, with minors in music and education. She went on to receive a Master's Degree in mathematics from UCLA and was recruited by Pasadena's California Institute of Technology to work in the United States military rocket program during World War II to counter the German V-2 rocket. As a freshman at Occidental, Susan met Ralph Noble Cole, an Economics student who was also in his first year. It's fair to say it was love at first sight for them both. In the middle of their sophomore year, Ralph was recruited by the US Army. They pledged their love by becoming engaged prior to Ralph's deployment to the front lines in Europe during WWII. The war might have separated them physically, but emotionally they were tied at the heart strings. Upon Ralph's return from combat, they wed on September 6, 1946. After the war, Susan earned her General Secondary Teaching Credential, and taught high school and kindergarten in the San Jose area for several years before raising her own family. Susan and Colonel Ralph Cole have four children, all married: Alan Ragan Cole (Kathy), Alice Louise Jurian (Michael), Randall Carter Cole (Lisa), and Charles Livingstone Cole (Barbara); and have seven grandchildren: Serena, Christopher, Michael, Brianna, and Daria Cole, and Justin and Nathan Andersen. Susan studied piano pedagogy at Columbia University in New York and became a Consultant for the International Piano Teaching Foundation. She gave private piano lessons over a forty year career to hundreds of students in Palo Alto and San Rafael, and taught over one hundred fifty music teachers in improving their teaching methods as well as inspiring countless high school and elementary school students with her love of music, how to teach music, and how to play and enjoy the piano. Susan was an active member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood, the American Association of University Women and the California Music Teachers Association. She had served as a Deacon and Choir Member of the Tiburon Westminster Presbyterian Church, and was a Board Member of Singers Marin. Susan enjoyed gardening (especially roses) and belonged to the Mill Valley Outdoor Art Club as well as several book and bridge clubs. She was also a dedicated fan of her beloved San Francisco Giants and 49ers! Susan leaves behind an amazing legacy of love and dedication to her family and her many friends, and will be greatly missed by all that knew her! Friends and family are invited to attend her Memorial Service at the Tiburon Westminster Presbyterian Church located at 240 Tiburon Blvd, Tiburon, on Saturday, September 13. The service will begin at 2:00 PM with reception to follow. Donations may be made in Susan's memory to Singersmarin.org
Published in Marin Independent Journal from Aug. 10 to Aug. 17, 2014
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