Blanche Cole

Obituary of Blanche W. Cole

Blanche W. Cole, 100, of Fairfield Twp. passed away peacefully at her home on Wednesday, November 17, 2021. Born at home in Rosenhayn to the late Joseph Walinsky and M. Mary Mach Walinsky. She was the wife of the late Howard F. Cole, whom she married in 1941 at the Fairfield Presbyterian Church, where she became a member. She lived on Clark’s Pond in Fairfield Twp. since 1950, and had lived in Fairfield Twp. since the early 1940's. Prior to that she resided in Bridgeton and Rosenhayn. Blanche was an avid reader beginning at a very early age. During her education, she was awarded Valedictorian of her 8th grade class in Rosenhayn in 1935. She then attended Bridgeton High School and graduated in 1939. Blanche loved roller skating and was described in her high school yearbook as “Grace on Wheels”. Her future husband actually learned how to roller skate in high school just to get her attention (it worked!). Howard and Blanche graduated in June of 1939, and got married in January of 1941. Shortly after getting married, Howard enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and served our country in the South Pacific during WWII, and returned to the United States in 1946. Prior to having children, Blanche had worked as the office manager for the former Gaskill's Sporting Goods in Bridgeton— she was like a part of the Gaskill’s family. Blanche was known for her green thumb, and often sought out by others for her magic touch. She could make almost any plant grow, and often collected clippings when she would take walks, and even on vacation, and would nurture them into beautiful healthy full grown plants. Beginning in the 1950s she became an expert in raising African violets. Then in the 1960’s she turned her focus to studying and raising orchids, especially rare orchids. Her husband built her a greenhouse at their home and together they raised many award winning orchids. She was a long standing member of the Delaware Orchid Society and more recently the Sandpiper Orchid Society of South Jersey. Blanche loved nature, from animals, to forests, rocks and fossils, to ponds and oceans, near and far. She was an adventurer and loved to travel. Some of her favorite places to visit included Hawaii, Sanibel Island and the Florida Keys, and botanical gardens everywhere! Blanche found joy and beauty wherever she went. She enjoyed combing the beaches for shells, beach glass, and other treasures. Blanche also loved animals, especially cats; and her cats loved to be with her. They would join her to rest on a bench under the spruce tree in her yard and curl up next to her in bed. She enjoyed bird watching and listening to the birds singing—Clark’s Pond was a perfect place for this. Blanche was a beautiful person, inside and out. People often commented about how sweet and good-natured she was. She also had a phenomenal sense of style and fashion, including an extensive scarf collection. She is survived by: her daughter, Patricia Ann Cole-Friedman (George) of Fairfield Twp. and Hawaii; six grandchildren, Brendon M. Friedman (U’ilani) of Hawaii, Lisa Leilani Friedman-Chavez (Ivan) of Florida, Nanea Gabrielle Vasta (John) of Hawaii, Freedom Cole of California, Jacob Cole (Minh Thu) of Pittsgrove and Benjamin Cole of Pittsgrove and Philadelphia; her daughter-in-law, Ruth P. Cole of Pittsgrove; her sister-in-law, Mary Walinsky of Fairton; nine nephews and nieces, including two special nieces, Blanche Hitchner (John) and Kathleen Butcher (Tom) of Fairton; and 11 great-grandchildren. Besides her husband, Howard, she was preceded in death by; her son, Robin Adair Cole; her sister, Stella Waddington and her brother, Joseph Walinsky. Private graveside services at Cumberland County Veteran's Memorial Cemetery in Hopewell Twp. will be held at the convenience of the family. Written condolences can be sent to the family through the funeral home website at www.padgettfuneralhomes.com.
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