Sharon was born in Arlee February 21, 1942 to Con and Oma Wittwer. She attended school in Arlee and St. Ignatius, and graduated high school in Ronan in 1960. She began working at the Ronan State Bank as a teller and soon married Lyle Pettit. They had two children, James L. and Becky Jo. In 1970, she married Dan Cole and relocated the family to the ranch in Dixon, where son Daniel Boone was born.
She readily embraced ranch life and thoroughly enjoyed her life as a homemaker and mother.
Not only did she have her own family to care for but cared for her husband's elderly parents, who also lived on the ranch.
She was the top ranch hand; bucking bales, changing pipe, working cattle, and even running equipment with her leg in a cast.
She was an avid gardener, cook, seamstress, and was known for her gift of hospitality, always welcoming friends and neighbors with fresh pie and coffee.
Her lifelong passion was music and playing her piano. Her gift of music became evident at age four when her mother wondered who was playing a march on the piano, only to find her toddler, Sharon, playing with both hands, perfect chords, and in time. She went on to play the piano for many occasions, and in her adult life, taught music at Dixon school for fifteen years. She held a genuine affection and responsibility for each of her students. She felt she was not just there to teach music, but to positively impact each life with her love, acceptance, and guidance. She saw potential in each child; she encouraged and expected them to do their best. She refused to compromise her high standards, and the music programs that she wrote, choreographed, and accompanied are still fondly remembered today.
Throughout her life, her source of strength and comfort was her personal relationship with her Lord and her Savior, Jesus Christ.
Because of her love for Jesus, she was fiercely devoted to her family and friends and wanted everyone to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus, that all would be together in heaven one day. Her greatest desire was to see her family, intact, in the presence of the Lord for eternity. She was a prayer warrior, and strove daily to learn more about Jesus and to improve her life in some way that would be pleasing to Him. She never let her kids leave her house without telling us she would be praying for us. Mom was love.
Her love for music and her piano was more deeply and personally impacting to herself and all of her family when she realized that God was to use her to create gospel music. She was inspired to compose more than 18 gospel songs, and was quick to give God the glory.
Sharon, Mom, GG, is already so sorely missed and has left a void that nothing else will ever fill. Though we grieve, we do not "...sorrow as others who have no hope." (I Thessalonians 4:13). Those of us who know Jesus Christ as our personal Savior have the blessed assurance that we will be together again. We love you mom.
She is preceded in death by her first grandchild, Rusty Hanson, her daughter Becky's first child. She is survived by her brothers Conn and Rick, and her sister Bonnie; her children, James (Shirley) Pettit, and their children Rachael and Josiah; Becky Jo (Dan) Clizbe and their children Judaline (Cory), Hershel, and Danna (Steve); Boone (Mary) Cole and their children Cheyenne (Tyrell), Jubilee, and Clem; and two great-grandsons, Hunter and Gage.
The celebration of Sharon's life will be held Saturday, Sept. 10 at 11 a.m. at the Dixon school gymnasium. Flowers could be sent to 11454 Hwy 200, Dixon, MT 59831. Memorials in Sharon's honor should be made to her beloved home church, the Dixon Community Baptist Church. There will be a reception at the Dixon gym after her interment at Pleasant View cemetery in St. Ignatius.