Valerie Smith Cole

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Valery ColeIt is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Valerie Smith Cole, 82, of Winchester, NH. Valerie died in the company of her family on January 9, 2024, in Keene, NH. Valerie was born July 19, 1941, in Springfield, Massachusetts to Frank and Kathleen Smith.

Valerie’s first love was her family, including her husband, Kenneth of 60 years, her six children, and many grandchildren. She was very proud of her children and grandchildren, and attended every sporting event possible, cheering passionately from the stands! She loved to talk with her grandchildren about their school experiences and what they’re currently reading. She was a reliable source for great mystery books, but loved to talk classics, and especially liked to show off her hip purple hair!

Valery ColeTeaching was Valerie’s second love. She was a beloved English and Latin teacher at Thayer High School for over three decades before retiring. Valerie then spent many years as a sought-after substitute teacher at local high schools. She enjoyed running into former students and talking about what was happening in their lives. She was an active member of the Keene Chapter P.E.O. Sisterhood, an organization that works to help women achieve their educational goals. With the help of Christy Frazier, she created the Dan Cole Memorial Scholarship Fund, which provided scholarship money to local graduating seniors. She was truly passionate about education.

Valerie was an avid knitter, keeping all of her children and grandchildren in mittens, hats, socks, and sweaters each year. She also loved gardening, reading, and soaking up the sun by the lake or pool. She will always be remembered by her family for her passion of all things Elvis! She was a true Boston fan. She never missed the chance to watch the Bruins, Sox, or Celtics. She also enjoyed watching Gino and the UConn Women’s Basketball team.

Over the past several years she and Ken went on many driving adventures, along with their trusty friend, Daisy, the sweet yellow lab, heading out the driveway and seeing where they ended up, getting lost from time to time, but always making it home eventually. Some of those rides included a stop at Yankee Candle, pizza at Antonio’s II, and maybe even McDonald’s for a small shake and fries, and a cheeseburger treat for Daisy. They were a team!

Valery ColeValerie is survived by her husband, Kenneth, and her children: Casey and his wife, Tammy, of Winchester; Kathleen Henderson and her husband, Mark, of Hampton; Stephanie Baker and her husband, Thomas, of Nottingham; Douglas and his wife, Ellen, of Bradford; Nathaniel and his wife, Darcy, of Windham, ME; and Dawn Cole of Keene. She is predeceased by her son, Daniel who passed away in 2007, and her brother, Richard Smith who passed away in 2023. Valerie is also survived by her grandchildren, Connor, Carly, Clare, and Caoilainn Cole, Sydney and Alexandria Henderson, Erica Kowalski and her three children, Seamus and Declan Baker, Darren Cole, Tucker and Reese Cole, and her great-grandchild, River.

A wake will be held on Sunday, January 21, 2024, from 1-3 pm, at the Cheshire Family Funeral Home, 44 Maple Ave, Keene, NH 03431. There will be a reception following at the Winchester VFW from 3-6.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you please consider donating in Valerie’s name to the National P.E.O. Sisterhood. Ways to donate: Check to family, or P.E.O. International, 3700 Grand Ave., Des Moines, Iowa, 50312. (*Scholarship in Memory of Valerie Cole* in memo line)

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