Charlene (Char) R. Cole, a loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend passed away unexpectedly in her home on January 1, 2020 at the age of 71. Char was born in Watertown, NY on July 28, 1948 to Clinton and Ruth (Dibble) Killenbeck, the second of four children. She grew up and attended school in Syracuse, NY for cosmetology. While there, Char met and subsequently married her high school sweetheart Raymond W. Cole on July 22, 1967. They had 2 children together, Raymond and Karen, who she nurtured through their formative years as a stay-at-home mother.
Her passions were varied and evolved over the years. She liked to knit, hunt deer with friends and family and was an avid trap shooter, enjoying weekly league shoots with her husband across Central New York. For the last two decades she spent a considerable amount of time tracing and charting genealogy records dating back to the 1600’s, identifying the common ancestral connections that unknowingly bind many of us.
She was a history buff who enjoyed researching places, events and time frames that are long lost and forgotten. Char was a member of the Kayendatsyona - Fort Oswego Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was the Historian for the Town of Sandy Creek and Villages of Lacona and Sandy Creek for 20 years, where she worked tirelessly to preserve historic sites and was instrumental in renovating the Sandy Creek Town Hall. She preserved and archived records and wrote several articles and books on a variety of topics from local farming to documenting veterans buried in three abandoned cemeteries. She also compiled a collection of local soldiers, including their letters and pictures from the Civil War, contributions that will endure for centuries.
Charlene is preceded in death by her parents and beloved aunts, uncles, and cousins. She is survived by her husband of 52 years Ray; her son Raymond, his wife Zoe and granddaughter Allison Rae from Great Falls, MT; her daughter Karen and husband Edward Linton from Sellersville, PA; her brother Clinton (Lynne) Killenbeck of Suffield, CT; and younger siblings Janet and David.
Char will always be remembered for her smile, compassion, fairness, can-do attitude and grit, a woman with strong traditional convictions who called it as she saw it. More importantly, she loved God, family and friends unconditionally. Those whose lives were touched by Charlene are invited to meet with the family at Traub Funeral Home in Central Square, NY on Tuesday, January 7 from 4 PM to 7 PM, followed by a service at 7 PM.
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