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Elise Kelleher Cole

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Elise Kelleher COLE Elise Campbell Kelleher Cole, wife of Norman R. Cole and life-long Seattle resident, passed away peacefully on Feb 3rd after a long illness. Elise was born in Seattle on January 24th 1926, a third-generation Seattleite. She was the daughter of Campbell Kelleher and grand-daughter of Daniel Kelleher, founder of what became Seattle First National Bank. Elise and brothers Richard and Daniel grew up on Capitol Hill and spent summers on Bainbridge Island. She attended St. Nicholas, graduated from Garfield High School in 1943 and got her degree from the University of Washington. Her first job was at the Seattle Times where Elise wrote for the society section and was an art critic, with a weekly column, 'With the Artists'. In 1952, she joined the local Eisenhower campaign and after victory, moved to Washington DC to work for the Republican National Committee ('When the Republicans were real republicans!') Returning to Seattle, she was a freelance writer, editor of the Social Blue Book of Seattle for 1958 and worked in the arts community, including a stint as the first director of the Northwest Craft Center following the World Fair in 1963. Elise and Norman married in 1964 and started a family, with son Grant and daughter Jessica. They moved to Kingston, WA to live 'in the great outdoors', where she grew vegetables and would regularly go clamming and crabbing. Elise was so passionate about education she became a two-term member of the North Kitsap School Board, tirelessly lobbing for better school funding. She enjoyed cooking large meals and sailing with Norman and friends on many an adventure up and down the Puget Sound and Canada. Later moving back into Seattle, she became a member of the Seattle Garden Club and started her own floral arranging business, bringing her unique touch to events around town. Over the years, she also belonged to the Sunset Club, the Junior League, the National Society of Colonial Dames of Washington and the Alma Stewart Ballinger Orthopedic Guild for Childrens Hospital. Elise is survived and missed by her son Grant, daughter Jessica, grand-daughters Nikki and Payten and brother Richard. A memorial gathering will be held at Seattle Yacht Club on Saturday March 19th from 5-8 PM. In lieu of flowers, the family requests any donations be made in Elise Cole's name to Childrens Hospital.
Published in The Seattle Times on Mar. 6, 2011
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