Mary Caroline ‘Pat’ Coles
Pat Coles was born in Fort Logan, Colo. on July 24, 1908, and passed away in Bishop on June 15, 2011, just shy of her 103rd birthday.
As a young girl, Pat’s family moved to Vancouver, Wash. where she grew up and went to school. In 1925 she moved with her family to San Francisco. She worked for AT&T for 11 years, then Standard Oil in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and for Hammer Shipping Merchant Marine during the last of the war years.
In December of 1945, she married Edward Coles after his discharge from the U.S. Navy. He served three years in the South Pacific during World War II.
In 1946 they moved to Bishop where Eddie had spent many vacations fishing and backpacking. Pat began working for the Bishop Chamber of Commerce and was involved with the formation of the Northern Inyo Hospital District, which was one of the first official hospital districts in the State of California. In 1950 Pat went to work for the County of Inyo as Clerk of the Court. She retired in 1973.
She was active with the Hospital Auxiliary and Republican Women. In 1974 Pat began volunteering at the Laws Railroad Museum working with Lois Clemans. Together, they were instrumental in getting the old Catholic Church moved to Laws and restoring it for the Museum Library and Arts building. When Lois passed away, Pat was asked to take care of the building and displays. For 22 years, Pat indexed, cataloged and arranged the books and maintained the building until retiring in 1996.
After her retirement she traveled and visited family and friends at home and abroad. At age 90, she said she was tired of cancelled flights and long airport lines, and spent her remaining years enjoying reading, working puzzles and tending to her garden.
Pat was an avid gardener and loved to share her flowers and vegetables with friends and neighbors. She even planted two tomato plants when she was 101, and you could still find her out in the garden pulling weeds at 102!
Pat had a wonderful memory, and was always telling stories about living through the Great Depression and the good old days in Bishop.
Pat was preceded in death by her parents, brother, sister and the love of her life, husband Eddie Coles. She is survived by her nephews, Ronald, Bruce and Craig Osmond, his wife, Connie, and their sons, Jon and Christopher; many cousins, including Father Timothy MacCarthy; and her dear friend, Eileen Schain and family.
Interment will be private in Santa Barbara next to her husband, Eddie.
There will be a viewing and Rosary at the Brune Mortuary at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 23. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Bishop at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 24. Pat has been a member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish since 1946.
Family and friends ask that donations in lieu of flowers be made to the Laws Railroad Museum and Hospice of the Owens Valley.