Gloria Jean Cole, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, passed away on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 in Walnut Creek, CA from complications related to cancer. She was 88.
Gloria was born in Crookston, Minnesota on April 3, 1929 to William and Tessie Schmidt and was raised on a farm until her family moved to Richmond, California during World War II when she was 13. She graduated from Richmond High School and went to work for Pacific Telephone in San Francisco. Despite a 12-year leave to raise a family, she would later retire from AT&T in Pleasanton after 30 years of service in 1988. She also worked part-time for her brother at Schmidt T.V. in Richmond for several years.
A mutual friend introduced her to her future husband, Harold “Jack” Cole. They were married on December 16, 1956 in Las Vegas, NV and she passed just shy of their 61st anniversary. Gloria loved working in SF and continued to work during the first years of their marriage until their first daughter, Francene, was born in 1964, followed by their second daughter, Michelle, in 1966.
Gloria moved to Pinole in 1988 where she raised her family, then to Moraga in 1984 where she and Jack built their own house, and then finally to Danville in 1997. She created a beautiful home and everyone was welcome.
Nothing was more important to Gloria than her family. She put her husband, kids and grandkids first and was always there at school affairs, dance recitals, high school musicals, and sporting events.
After her daughters had graduated college, Gloria had time to focus on herself. She returned to school and completed her B.A. degree in History at UC Berkeley in 1998. She and Jack began to travel and she was thrilled to visit Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, Mexico, and Europe for the first time. She took an active role as a member of the Board and Chairman of the Social Committee for Contra Costa Heights HOA.
Gloria is survived by her Husband, Jack, of Danville, CA, Daughters; Francene Cole of New York City and Michelle Walton of Walnut Creek, CA, Son-In-Law Michael Walton and Grand -Children; Lauren Walton, Lindsey Walton, and Cole Walton, as well as numerous Nieces and Nephews near and far.
She was preceded in death by her Parents, Brothers; Harold, Ross, and Vernon Schmidt, and Sisters; Gladys Garner and Joyce Carlson.
Gloria loved California, Frank Sinatra, and a great bottle of red wine. She will be in our hearts and souls always.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, December 22, 2017, at 11:30 A.M. at Wilson and Kratzer Chapel of San Ramon Valley, Danville, CA.