Estes Park resident Ken Cole passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday, March 17, 2019. Kenneth Ray Cole was born September 28, 1937 in Ada, Oklahoma. His parents were Paul and Ruth (Siegrist) Cole of Garden City, Kansas.
Ken graduated from Garden City High School and went on to the University of Kansas where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy. He spent many hours rehearsing on the tuba and performing in the KU marching band. KU is also where he courted Barbara Robinson, his true love. They were married in August 1959 and would have celebrated their 60th anniversary in August of this year.
Ken began his pharmacy career in Ottawa, Kansas, then moved to Emporia, Kansas in the summer of 1962. Their first child, Stacey Rae, was born there on Ken’s birthday that year. Six years later, Ken and Barbara adopted son Rusty, and shortly after that, son Scott was born. With the family now complete, the Coles moved to Clay Center, Kansas in 1970 where Ken practiced hospital pharmacy until 1975 when he purchased a partnership in a drugstore in McPherson, Kansas and the family lived there until Ken retired in 2003. While there, Ken served as President of the local Rotary Club and was active in his church.
The family enjoyed skiing together in Colorado on winter vacations, and Ken and Barbara helped chaperone several groups of high school students on ski trips, teaching many young people to love the sport. They also loved to camp and go trout fishing on summer trips to Colorado. While living in Emporia Ken was a Boy Scout leader for a troop sponsored by their church. He was quite proud of the fact that he and the boys camped out every month of the year in all kinds of weather conditions, and he certainly helped to shape the future of some fine young men.
In his spare time Ken developed an interest in creating stained glass pieces. Each of his children have framed pieces of special meaning to them, and several hangings are in his home. He also continued to research the family genealogy that his father had started, and even found a connection to a King of England!
In 2004 Ken and Barbara planned and built their retirement home here in Estes Park, moving here in March of 2005. This home is where their family built many amazing memories and shared much love. He and Barbara quickly became immersed in the community, serving as Visitor Center Ambassadors for twelve years, and becoming active in the Presbyterian Community Church of the Rockies. Ken was an ordained Deacon and Elder in the Church and served as the token male on the Membership and Hospitality committee for several years. He was also a member of the church-sponsored Back Pew Creations, the group that has produced a melodrama here in town for the past thirteen years in order to provide funds for many of our local charities. Ken was a member of the noon Rotary Club and was committed to the Rotary goal of eradicating polio worldwide. He was also the recipient of a Paul Harris Fellow award. During his first few years in Estes, Ken did relief work at Rocky Mountain Pharmacy. He loved serving the customers, and usually had a good joke to share with them. For six years, Ken served on the Arapaho Estates home owners association board.
Ken is survived by his wife Barbara, daughter Stacey (Dan) Winsor of Castle Rock, CO, son Russell (Gina Chen) Cole of Seattle, WA, and son Scott (Rena) of Wichita, KS. His gentle manner and keen wit will be missed by all, including his grandchildren, Kadan, Katherine, and Koltan of Castle Rock, and Peyton and Carson of Wichita. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother Paul Cole of Omaha, NE.
In memory and honor of Ken, donations may be made to The Rotary Club Foundation of Estes Park, The Parkinson’s Foundation, or the Presbyterian Community Church of the Rockies, all in care of Allnutt Funeral Service at 1302 Graves Avenue, Estes Park, CO 80517.
A memorial service will be held to celebrate Ken’s life on June 29 11:00 AM at the Presbyterian Church of the Rockies in Estes Park, CO. Details will be posted on www.allnuttestespark.com.