Cover photo for Ruth Lorraine Karjala Cole's Obituary
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Ruth Lorraine Karjala Cole

Ruth Lorraine Karjala Cole, 99, passed away on October 3, 2022, in Schertz, Texas.

Services will be at 3:30 P.M., Friday, October 7, 2022, in the Boxwell Brothers Ivy Chapel with David Handley officiating. Burial will follow at Llano Cemetery. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd., Amarillo, Texas.

Ruth was born January 7, 1923, in West Allis, Wisconsin.  Following graduation from West Allis Central High School, she worked as a physician’s receptionist and later as a private secretary for A.D. Braun Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In August 1944 she enlisted in the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) in the US Navy and began training in October of that year at Hunter College in the Bronx, New York.  Her first assignment was to the US Naval Station in Astoria, Oregon.  While there, she met and married A.L. (Bodie) Cole on October 13, 1945.  She was given an honorable discharge from active duty on November 29, 1945, but worked as a civil servant until Mr. Cole’s discharge.

The couple moved to Amarillo in 1948 where Ruth worked for Russell, Shelton and Co. (later J. Robert McNaghten, CPA).  She worked for the firm for 37 years as a receptionist and stenographer.  Mr. and Mrs. Cole were charter members of Christ Lutheran Church in Amarillo.  Ruth was the church’s Sunday School secretary for many years.  She also taught Sunday school and was the Sunday school attendance secretary.  One of the things she most enjoyed was decorating the bulletin boards in the Education Building.  Ruth always cooked a wonderful Sunday lunch after church.  She loved new recipes.

Following a stroke in 1998, Ruth moved to Universal City, Texas to be near her family.

She loved football.  She never missed a Dallas Cowboys game on television and was an avid follower of West Texas State, Texas Tech, and Wheeler High School football.

Ruth was preceded in death by her husband, A.L. (Bodie) Cole; an infant daughter, Mary Jean Cole; her father and mother, Edward and Olga Karjala; two sisters, Helen Karjala and Ilene Peloza.

She is survived by a daughter, Janet Cole Handley and her husband, David, both of Universal City, Texas; a grandson, John Handley and his wife, Melody, and a great-granddaughter, Mabry, all of Victoria, Texas. Also a brother, Wayne Karjala of Chicago, Illinois; nieces Candy Hiir and her husband Roy of Greenfield, WI; Phillis Garner and her husband Dale of Pampa, Texas; Becky Voight and her husband Allan of Hartley, Texas; and nephew Tim Peloza and his wife Heidi of East Amherst, NY.

The family requests memorials be made to The Vine School, c/o Erin Hatley, 603 E. Mesquite Lane, Victoria, Texas 77901.
To send flowers to the family in memory of Ruth Lorraine Karjala Cole, please visit our flower store.


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