Michael Wesley H Cole, 64, died unexpectedly in Polson, MT at St Joseph’s Hospital 10-23-2017.
Michael has raised two fine sons and loved his family life full of soccer, camping, band concerts, scouts and more. He helped raise a multitude of children through his involvement in education. His students were from all stages and abilities. The major goal of Michael was to help his students feel accomplished and proud of their effort. He loved his job and was a master at it. Michael had a gift to make family, friends, students, and co-workers feel loved and important in his special way. His gentleness, laughter, and love of fun will be missed.
Michael would throw himself into his interests with passion. For years he bred and showed curly haired cornish rex then sleek oriental shorthair cats mainly in CFA. Big Arm Hannigan (as Michael was known by SASS members) was heavily involved with Cowboy Action Shooting for a number of years. He made many precious friends through being a past member of Orygun Cowboys and regularly shooting at matches throughout the NW. Continuing his love for the shooting sports he also participated in USPSA, 3-gun matches, and was a Range Officer for Polson Shooting Range. He enjoyed countless hours making furniture and other pieces of art in his woodworking shops. The Moose Lodge #1774 in Vancouver, WA is where he had his membership. He enriched his love of music by taking guitar, mandolin, and piano lessons. Most recently he was enthusiastically learning and participating in the world of ham radio where he earned his Technician, General, and Extra Amateur licenses.
Born in E St Louis, IL, Michael then moved to Chehalis, WA at age 7. He grew up with his sister, LaDonna and his brother, Jim, until going to Washington State University. He met his wife, Paula, at WSU. They lived in Pullman, WA, Kellogg, ID, Vancouver, WA, and Camas, WA. The final move was to Big Arm, MT in 2007.
Michael loved learning. He was a high school graduate of W. F. West in Chehalis, WA. He earned his Bachelors at Washington State and his Masters at Portland State University. As a lifelong learner he continued studies at many different colleges.
Love of learning was also shown in his choice of occupation: Educator. He taught more than 39 years at Kellogg School District, Kellogg, ID, Evergreen School District, Vancouver, WA, Adjunct Professor Seattle Pacific University, Vancouver, WA, Polson School District, Polson, MT, Site Supervisor for Student Teachers, Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, AZ.
Michael was preceded in death by his parents, James and Mildred Cole, his uncle Jerry Varvel, and cousin, Jeff Cole.
His survivors include his wife Paula, sons Ian and Pierce, sister LaDonna Hansen and her husband Ron, brother Jim Cole and his wife Arloa, uncle Noel Cole, aunt Fern Schneider, numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews.
A Celebration of Life has taken place in Big Arm, MT. There will be a Celebration of Life for Michael at Vancouver Moose Lodge, Vancouver, WA, Saturday, November 4th from 3-5 pm.