Kolesta (Kay) Marlene Alexander

Our beloved mother and grandmother, passed peacefully away on Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008, at her daughter's home in Eagle, Idaho, surrounded by family.

Friends and family are invited to gather for a graveside service on Saturday, Oct. 4, 2008, at — p.m. at the Pine Haven Cemetery in Halfway, Oregon. Kolesta's wish was to rest beside her husband and soul mate, Donald, just as they decided years ago. A reception will follow the graveside service at the Stockmen's Restaurant in Halfway. Services are under the direction of Accent Funeral Home in Meridian, Idaho.

Kolesta was born on Nov. 27, 1934, in Halfway, Oregon, to Norman and Maymie Mills. She spent her childhood and teen years in the valley playing and working on the farm. Kolesta (Keek to her friends) was an only child, but never had to feel alone because she was surrounded by her loving Grandmama Josie, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins that always ended up at Grandmama's house about supper time. Working hard on the farm, riding horses, barn dances, and making wonderful memories was how she remembered her childhood.

Kolesta met her lifelong love, Donald Alexander, while they were children and playing with his sister, Karen. Donald was two years older, but he recognized the jewel in our Mom's eye and they spent the rest of their lives together. Donald joined the United States Navy and Kolesta waited at home, graduating from Pine Eagle High School in 1952. They were married that summer on Sept. 14, 1952, and celebrated 51 years of memories before Donald passed away in 2003.

From this union came three children; Deborah Kay, Cheri Dawn, and Norman Babe. As we all know, Kolesta lived for her children and her knight-in-shining armor, Donald. Her family includes six grandchildren, Donald Stansberry, Steve Kelly, Jr., Danielle Flores, Charlie, Becky, and Emily Alexander.

Kolesta worked hard all of her life, finding a job every place she lived. Throughout her life, she carried the gift of laughter and her favorite job was where she could make a new friend. She lived in Oregon, California, and Idaho, but traveled to most of the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, Canada, Mexico and on seven different cruises.

Kolesta and Donald lived for 28 years in Medford, Ore., until Donald passed away, and Kolesta moved to Idaho to be with her children. While in Oregon, she enjoyed square dancing, fishing, trips to the Oregon Coast, and camping with her friends.

Mom to her children, grandma to six grandchildren, and great-grandma to three great-grandchildren, Kolesta was the gentle, kind, sweet lady we all loved. She will be missed. Although gone from this earth, she will still remind all of us that only good words should be spoken. Family and friends are your life. Hug your friends and love your family, were her teachings. It is with tears in our eyes and love in our hearts that we say good-bye for now.

Kolesta was preceded in death by her husband, Donald T. Alexander; her parents, Norman and Maymie Mills; step-father, Burl Jones; and her grandparents, Charles and Josephine Hulse.

She is survived by daughters, Deborah K Flores of Boise, Idaho; daughter, Cheri D. Kelly (Steve) of Eagle, Idaho; son, Norman B. Alexander (Rose) of Emmett, Idaho; six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; her beloved aunt, Virgene Payton Fugit (Stan), of Halfway, Ore.; uncle, Herb Hulse, of Coos Bay, Ore.; her sister-in-law, Karen Taylor (Bill), of Pendleton, Ore.; and many adoring nieces, nephews and cousins.

Kolesta was an only child, but leaves a special friend of more than 40 years, who in her heart was more like a sister, Ann Hampton of Portland Oregon.