Barbara Jean (Hacker) Cole, 87, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, passed away on Wednesday, May 15, 2019.
Born September 22, 1931 in Colorado Springs, she was the daughter of the late Herschel Hacker and Kate Lemler Hacker. She attended grade school and high school in Colorado Springs and Loveland, Colorado, later attending Walla Walla College in Washington state. Barbara married her husband, Edgar A. Cole, in Colorado Springs at Shrove Memorial Chapel on the Colorado College campus on July 16, 1954.
Barbara was a long-time resident of Colorado Springs. She left for about 30 years when she and Ed moved to Okinawa, Japan for Ed’s job with the DoD overseas dependents school system. While there, Barbara held a variety of jobs from secretary to journalist and speechwriter for Army general officers. She also worked for the Air Force in civilian personnel, specializing in EEO and Employee Management Relations where she was at the forefront of the EEO field in the Pacific region. The last six of those years she was Chief of the Employee Management Relations Unit in Civilian Personnel.
Spending more than 30 years in the Orient afforded Barbara and Ed many opportunities to travel. They made numerous trips to mainland Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Guam, the Philippines, mainland China, Malaysia as well as visits to Vietnam, Cambodia, and the lost city of Angkor Wat before the Vietnam War. Their summers were spent touring the US, and they continued to enjoy travel in the US, Mexico and Europe during retirement. Barbara had many interests, she enjoyed studying gemology and made many of her own pieces of jewelry. Additionally, she avidly studied genealogy and documented her extensive research on both Ed’s family and her own. Barbara loved Japanese flower arranging and earned her teacher’s certificate in Ikebana (2nd Grade, Sanyo) with the Sogetsu school in Tokyo. She is believed to have been the highest ranking non-Japanese practitioner of that discipline at the time. She studied cake making/decorating and was known for using her family, friends and neighbors to try out new designs and flavors.
On their return to Colorado Springs, Barbara and Ed joined the First United Methodist Church, becoming involved in church activities and in the Odds and Ends Sunday School class. For a number of years Barbara served as a church greeter and welcome center host, and on a monthly basis assisted in the delivery of food items from the church to Ecumenical Social Services for dispatch to needy individuals. Barbara also volunteered extensively with AARP’s Austin Bluffs Chapter 2337, and NARFE’s Chapter 231.
Barbara’s family would like it known that she cherished and often spoke of the close friendships she developed and maintained over the years, including her community of friends at the Satellite, the Inn at Garden Plaza, and Sunrise at University Park.
Barbara was preceded in death by her husband, Ed, her mother and father Kate and Herschel Hacker, and her sister, Katheryn Braswell. Barbara is survived by her children; Jeri Ebbink (Ted) and Edgar Allen Cole II (wife Michelle); grandchildren Michael Ebbink, David Ebbink, Benjamin Cole and Rachel Cole; step-grandchildren; Joshua Siemer (wife Jennie) and Catherine Mattila (husband Christopher); and step-great-grandchildren Henry Siemer and Abigail Siemer.