The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

Theodora (Teddy) Hathaway Cole


February 13, 2019

Theodora (Teddy) Hathaway Cole, 87, passed away on Jan. 26, 2019 in The Dalles.

Teddy was born on Oct. 1, 1931, in Trenton, New Jersey, to Lenora Ursula (Kennedy) and Rev. Francis Ogden Hathaway. Stockton, New Jersey, was her home through 1953. Teddy attended Bob Jones University, Greensville, South Carolina, and lived in Philadelphia for two years before marrying Harry Norman Cole on March 27, 1957. Harry's different Army postings required they move every one to two years, taking them to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Enterprise, Alabama, and even a return to Stockton. After Harry's discharge in 1958, they moved to the Seattle area, eventually settling into their Lake City neighborhood house in 1963. From her marriage through 1972, Teddy was focused on her family and community, with her activities including the PTA, Campfire Girls, and adult education and leadership at the Lake City Presbyterian Church. In addition, she took on part-time jobs whenever she could to help make ends meet, which included an enumerator position for the 1970 census.

Teddy's elderly father came to live with the family following the death of her mother; he would live with her until after his 100th birthday. In 1972, with five children ranging in ages from 5 to 14, Teddy finished her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Washington. She earned her Washington State teaching certificate in 1973 and the following year earned her Master's in Library Science. A small bequest by a cherished aunt funded Teddy's education; however, her success was due to her strength and perseverance.

In 1975, Teddy was hired as the Goldendale High School librarian and she worked there for the next 12 years. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she was the Drama Club counselor and, along with other plays, she directed the musical My Fair Lady. Teddy left the school system in 1988 to work at the public library. An avid reader, she also served on a panel of judges for the Washington State Book Awards. Throughout her career she had a special affinity for children, children's literature and children's events. Following her retirement in 1997, Teddy was active as a community volunteer, writer, teacher, historian, and genealogist. She coordinated the Klickitat County from A to Z project Blue Light to Puckerhuddle, founded the local writer's group Writer's Bloc, and was known to many through activities with Friends of the Library, Maryhill Museum of Art, and PEO.

Although coming from a family with a long history of Presbyterianism, she took her family to services at the Baptist Church in town for many years. Later she joined with others for Unitarian Universalist services and appreciated the emphasis on social justice.

Teddy was preceded in death by her parents; husband; brother Robert O. Hathaway; sister Juliet E. Hudspeth; daughter Barbara R. Cole; grandsons Jacob and Joseph; and great-grandson Evitan. She is survived by brother Edgar O. Hathaway of Hubert, North Carolina; children Martha M. Petersen of Mount Vernon, Washington, Robert N. Cole of Shoreline, Washington, Juliet E. Cole of Lynnwood, Washington, Kathryn A. Butchart of Shoreline, Washington; grandchildren Ian, Clysta, Aubrey, Julian, Geoffrey, Dominic, Chantal; and great-grandchildren Axel and Nativia.

Please, no flowers. At Teddy's request, there will be no memorial. She loved her family and friends, she treasured the community that provided her a place to make her home, and she created unique relationships with those around her. Her family asks that she be remembered in a way that honors that individuality.


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