Dr. Michele Lee Cole, 70, passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 5, 2022 at home in Emmett, Idaho. She was born in Oakland, California on June 9, 1951 to Leo and Edna Tamamian, but was raised all over the world.
As an Army brat, Michele was a global citizen and true polyglot. She spoke seven languages – from Hebrew to French to Japanese. So there was never a problem or argument she couldn’t navigate.
A life-long educator, Michele had an insatiable quest for learning and knowledge. This passion fueled her pursuit of education and led her to obtain several post-secondary degrees – including a master’s degree from Claremont Graduate University and a Doctorate in Education from her alma matter, The University of the Pacific.
Michele personified selflessness and gave back to the next generation as both a teacher and administrator at the elementary, junior high and high school levels. Her most meaningful role came at the end of her career where she served as a teacher and principal in the California Department of Corrections. Even though her primary role was to provide education, she was most fulfilled serving as a spiritual counselor to the inmates – further transforming the lives of those who needed her love the most.
She had a devout connection with Israel as she lived there for several years and served in the 1973 Yom Kippur War teaching children in underground bunkers. She also travelled to Israel numerous times with her church over the past decade and always found a way to minister to the people that lived there.
In 1979 in Southern California, Michele met her life-long partner, Chet. They didn’t begin dating until 1984 even though Chet was in her own backyard for years as her gardener. They were married on March 15, 1985 and created an amazing, spiritually-centered life together, while raising the always dynamic and adventurous lives of Rachel and Rebecca.
Michele was an avid reader – whether studying scripture, staying on top of the world’s current and political events or about other cultures. She also never missed an opportunity to share this knowledge with her friends and loved ones. Those closest to her knew her as a living historian.
Michele was preceded in death by her parents, Leo and Edna Tamamian and her daughter, Rebecca Elizabeth Cooper. She is survived by her beloved husband, Chet D. Cole; daughter, Rachel Gail Lowery; son-in-law, Jalé Lowery; grandchildren, Kiana and Kadin Lowery; fur baby, Nickey and other extended family and dear friends.
Michele’s “Celebration of Life” service will be held on Friday, March 11, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. MST at the Potter Funeral Chapel. For those who are unable to attend, the service will also be available via a live stream accessible below this obituary or on YouTube.
Charitable donations in Michele’s honor can be made to the Holy Land Missions which is a faith-based organization called to provide hope to those who are impoverished, hurting, and religiously persecuted in Israel.
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Holy Land Missions
PO BOX 37, Livingston LA 70754