Emma Jean Turner Cole, beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, went to be with her Lord on Sunday, July 7, 2019, at the age of 87 in Corpus Christi, Texas.
She was born near Albany on July 29, 1931, to Audie Marion Turner and Ida Thelma Thompson Turner.
Jean’s family moved to Mansfield in the 1930s and later relocated to Bolivar, where Jean graduated from high school in 1949.
She graduated from then-Southwest Baptist College in Bolivar with an Associate of Arts in 1950.
She then attended the University of Missouri in Columbia. It was there that she met future husband, Dale Lindsay Cole, as they were both active in the Baptist Student Union.
They were married Aug. 31, 1952, in Columbia.
She graduated in 1952 with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in languages.
Shortly thereafter, they moved to Chicago, where Dale was attending the university while Jean worked as an executive secretary.
While Dale was serving in the Air Force, they were stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City, Louisiana, for several years where Jean worked as a switchboard operator. They later moved back to Columbia where Jean received her Bachelor of Science in education in 1957 and Master of Education in 1958.
Jean and Dale moved to Phoenix, Arizona, to begin their teaching careers in 1958. Jean first taught at Whittier Elementary School and later spent 24 years at Navajo Elementary School and 10 years at Cochise Elementary in Scottsdale, Arizona. She was a sought-after teacher and received many letters of commendation during her career. Teaching children to read was her passion.
Jean and Dale enjoyed many happy years in Scottsdale, where their children, Cathy and Bob, were born.
Her children were her life, and she loved her time being involved in the activities of their lives and the lives of her grandchildren. She was generous with her love and attention, especially when it came to lavish feasts that she prepared for family gatherings.
She was an active member of First Southern Baptist Church in Scottsdale and served as a Sunday school teacher, church pianist and girl’s leader and had many wonderful friends there during those years.
After her retirement in 1994, Jean and Dale enjoyed traveling the world and spending time with their grandchildren.
In 2001, they moved to Corpus Christi and were members of Second Baptist Church. Jean was always available to help the elderly at her church and keeping her neighborhood in the Lakes informed of all the happenings with her dog, Penny.
From an early age, Jean was a person who was full of life, loved to be the center of attention and seemed to have boundless energy even into her 80s. She was a generous soul and lifelong witness of her Savior, Jesus Christ. Her sweet smile was always present.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her loving husband, Dale.
She is survived by her daughter, Dr. Mary Cathleen Cole-Perez and husband Rene of Corpus Christi, Texas; her son, Dr. Robert Dale Cole and wife Sandra of Coral Springs, Florida; eight grandchildren, Kristen Cole of Austin, Texas, James Cole and wife Balkeum of South Korea, Gregory Perez and wife Elizabeth of San Antonio, Texas, Sarah Shwe and husband Salai of Garland, Texas, Caitlin Charnock and husband Mark of Irvine, Texas, Daniel Cole of De Soto, Texas, Rebecca Perez of Waco, Texas, and Rick Sauber-Cole of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; four great-grandchildren, Aaron Shwe, Katherine Perez, Hannah Shwe, and Charlotte Cole; and nephew Jerald Andrews and family.
Visitation was Friday, July 12, at Cage-Mills Funeral Directors. The funeral is Saturday, July 13, at Second Baptist Church in Corpus Christi, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: Second Baptist Church, 6701 S. Staples, Corpus Christi TX 78413.
Condolences may be sent to cage-millsfuneraldirectors.com.