Charles received his undergraduate degree from Baylor University in 1971 and his Juris Doctor from Baylor University School of Law in 1973. After practicing civil and criminal law in Texas, Charles became a hearing judge for the Workman’s Compensation Division of the Texas Department of Insurance.
He was an active member and Sunday school teacher at White Rock Community Church.
He is predeceased by his father, James W. Cole Jr., and grandparents. He is survived by his mother, Mary A. Cole of Dallas; sister, Marilyn (Chris) Jones of Creve Coeur, Mo.; nephew, Benjamin Cole Jones of Kansas City, Mo.; niece, Katelyn Jones of Munich, Germany; aunt, Emma Jean (Harrell) Dumas of Port O’Connor, Texas; and cousins, Jerry Chevallier of Tennessee, Cecil (Mary Ann) Lowry of Rowlett, Texas, Susan Dumas of Fair Oaks, Texas, and John Dumas of Port O’Connor. He is also survived by many dear friends, including Marcus and Ronald, and maintained a very close friendship with his ex-wife, Lynda Conner of Florida.
Memorials may be made to the Youth Ministry at White Rock Community Church.
In the ’80s, she began working in Dallas in property management after acquiring her real estate license. In the mid-’90s she worked as an environmental technician for a well-known engineering firm, acquiring multiple certifications and was assigned to various military installations, including Hickham AFB in Honolulu, where she got to play some serious golf.
She was passionate about building things, acquiring knowledge in electrical installations and the basics of home remodeling. In 2001, she moved to Tennessee, where she acted as project manager for Putnum County Habitat for Humanity — eventually helping to build her own home with her partner in Picayune, Miss.
Her most rewarding accomplishment was working for Habitat for Humanity of Pearl River County, Miss., in 2006. After Hurricane Katrina, Habitat was burdened with a need for affordable housing. She was able to impact 12 families and give 27 children a chance to grow up in a safe, decent home.
She was also an avid and accomplished golfer playing on the LPGA Futures Tour following college. In her later years, she enjoyed golf and fishing and spending time working in the yard and pets.
Donna returned to Texas when her job was done in Mississippi. She leaves boots which cannot be filled.
She is survived by Holly Hoffer, her partner of 21 years; her mother, Rita Fischer; father, Robert McKenna; brother and sister-in-law, Rob and Michelle Fischer; and nephews, Dustin and Drew Fischer.
The funeral will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at Kessler Park United Methodist Church, 1215 Turner Ave.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 5, 2013.