Nelle Viola Coley


(February 6, 2002)

Nelle Viola Coley died Wednesday, Feb. 6 at St. Vincent Hospital in Billings, Mont. She was 85.

She was born Nelle Ayres on Nov. 21, 1916, in Bartlesville, Okla., daughter of Thomas and Berth Ayres. She attended schools in Oklahoma and Texas.

She married Ralph Anderson Hilton in 1937 in Bartlesville. Later, living in Enid, Okla., a son, Ralph, was born. The family moved to California during the war, and another son, Ron, was born in Albany, Calif. They moved to the Powell area in the early 1950s, and a third son, Rex, was born.

Mr. Hilton died in 1964. She continued to make her home in the Powell-Cody area. She married Mike Coley in 1968, and they owned and operated the Irma Hotel until their retirement in 1971.

They kept a cabin on the North Fork and a condominium in Arizona. They retired on a permanent basis to Powell in 1984. Mr. Coley died in 1993.

She was a member of the Methodist Church.

Survivors include her three sons, Ralph, Ron and Rex Hilton; nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Private graveside services will be held. Miratsky-Easton Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.