Emily Cole Hamrick

emily hamrick

Emily Cole Hamrick
September 7, 1931 to January 5, 2019

Emily Southerland Cole was born in Charlotte, NC on September 7, 1931. She attended the University of North Carolina, studying Business Management. She met Joe Hamrick, her future husband, there, and they married in 1952. She completed 3 years of her education while having two children. At the same time, she worked as the secretary to the Dean of the medical school, supporting the family while Joe was in dental school. Joe opted for an officer's program in the US Air Force which provided additional educational opportunities after dental school. He attended The Ohio State University to complete his specialty in Prosthodontics. Two more children arrived during the early years of his Air Force career and Emily's life as an officer's wife and busy stay-at-home mother. 

In 1967, the family of 6 moved to Denver. Emily divorced Joe Hamrick four years later. She dusted off her secretarial skills and got a job at Petro-Lewis, beginning in the secretarial pool. Over the next few years, she rose through the ranks to head the entire Office Services function with more than 160 people under her management.  During this time, she went back to school to complete her degree in Organizational Management, walking during her graduation ceremony with daughter Christie, who completed her degree the same semester. 

Her reputation at Petro-Lewis as both tough and fair is echoed by the large number of former coworkers who stayed in touch with her. 

As the company ran into financial trouble, she remained a trusted friend of founder Jerome Lewis, assisting in the winding down of company operations until remaining assets were sold, effectively tolling the death of the company. 

In 1986, Emily began working with her daughter, Christie, at a mortgage company she and her husband owned. Having lost her entire retirement nest egg in the collapse of Petro-Lewis, the chance to work for her daughter was vital.  She enjoyed years of time with friends and family once she retired. Until her illness intervened earlier this year, she lived independently. 

Emily moved into hospice in November of 2018.

During her time from diagnosis of a terminal condition until her death, she was visited and called by dozens of old friends. She only then came to appreciate how much her love and service to others was coming back to her, a reflection of her own contribution to the successful lives of so many.

She is survived by her dear friend of more than 45 years, Dan, and her four children: Rick Hamrick and wife Julia, Christie Austin and husband Bob, Mark Hamrick, and Karla Parkes and husband John. In addition, she is survived by nine grandchildren: Rick and Elaine Hamrick’s children Aubrie, Allison (and husband Ian), Wendy-Anne and Claire, Christie and Bob’s children Michael and Julie, and Karla and John’s children, Amanda, Kaitlyn and Matthew. 

The family requests that any donations be made to: Porter Hospice, 5020 E. Arapahoe Road, Centennial, Colorado 80122.


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