Elise Campbell Kelleher Cole, former North Kitsap School Board member | Passages
March 9, 2011 · Updated 9:29 AM
Elise Campbell Kelleher Cole, a former Kingston resident and former member of the North Kitsap School Board, has died.
Mrs. Cole died Feb. 3 after a long illness. She was 85. A memorial gathering is scheduled March 19, 5-8 p.m., at the Seattle Yacht Club. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her name are preferred to Children's Hospital.
Mrs. Cole was born in Seattle on Jan. 24, 1926, a third-generation Seattleite. She grew up on Capitol Hill and spent summers on Bainbridge Island. She graduated from Garfield High School in 1943 and earned her degree from the University of Washington.
She was a society writer and art critic for The Seattle Times, campaigned for Dwight D. Eisenhower for president in 1952 and after the election moved to Washington, D.C. to work for the Republican National Committee. Returning to Seattle, she was a freelance writer, editor of the Social Blue Book of Seattle for 1958, and was the first director of the Northwest Craft Center following the Seattle World's Fair in 1962.
She and her husband, Norman, married in 1964. They moved to Kingston, where she grew vegetables and enjoyed clamming and crabbing. She was appointed to the North Kitsap School Board on Dec. 9, 1974, succeeding Ardis Morrow, and served until Dec. 13, 1979; her family remembers her tirelessly lobbying for better school funding. She enjoyed sailing with Norman and friends in Puget Sound and Canada.
Moving back to Seattle, she became a member of the Seattle Garden Club and started her own floral arranging business. Over the years, she also belonged to the Sunset Club, the Junior League, the National Society of Colonial Dames of Washington and the Alma Stewart Ballinger Orthopedic Guild for Children's Hospital.
Mrs. Cole is survived by her son, Grant; daughter, Jessica; granddaughters, Nikki and Payten; and brother, Richard.