Donald Cole

donald cole
Donald C. Cole, 88, of Hooker's Gap Road, Candler, died on Friday, July 24, 2009 at his home after a long illness. Mr. Cole was born on March 25, 1921, in the Pole Creek community of Candler. He was the son of the late Furman Curtis and Selma Brooks Cole. Raised on the family farm, he attended Buncombe County public schools, and graduated from Candler High School in 1938. Mr. Cole remarked on many occasions that times were still very hard in the area when we graduated, and he was very happy when he was hired as a production worker by the American Enka Company's rayon plant in December, 1939. It was the beginning of an association that lasted for 46 years. As was the case with most of his generation, Mr. Cole's civilian life was interrupted by World War II. Entering the service in 1942, he rose from the enlisted ranks after graduating Officers Candidate School at Yale University. He served as Captain in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a Communications Officer, Air Transport Command in the Pacific Theater of Operations. He served in many locations in the Pacific, including Australia, New Guinea, the Philippines, Okinawa, and at war's end, with the U.S. occupation forces in Japan. He remained in the U.S. Air Force Reserve into the 1960s and concluded his military service with the rank of Major. Mr. Cole returned to North Carolina in 1946. From 1949, until her death in 1976, he was married to Foda Henderson Cole, with whom they had one son, Douglas Edward Cole. Continuing his career with American Enka, he held a number of supervisory positions over the years, including Production Superintendent, Plant Technician Manager, and Plant Production Manager before retiring as Manager Caprolactam Recovery, in 1986. He remarked many times that he enjoyed every moment of his job, and never considered it work. Upon retirement from American Enka, Mr. Cole began his next career: that of a farmer. He owned and operated the Cole Angus Farm on Hooker's Gap Road until his death, filling his barn with hay each year, raising sweet and field corn, and caring for his cattle. In later years, he was joined in his farming operation by his son, Doug, and grandson, Stephen. Throughout his life, Mr. Cole was an avid hunter and fisherman, and instilled a love of both in his son and grandson. From small game in his farm, to deer in the Texas Hill Country, Mr. Cole enjoyed his lifetime in the outdoors. Mr. Cole is survived by his wife, Linda Lowe Cole; sister, Margaret Cole Smathers, of Candler; son, Douglas Cole; grandson, Stephen Cole; daughter-in-law, Sarah Cole of the Cole Angus Farm; many nieces, nephews, and a wealth of wonderful friends. A funeral service for Mr. Cole will be at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Groce Funeral Home chapel on Patton Ave. with Mrs. Margaret Cole Smathers officiating. Interment will follow at Snow Hill United Methodist Church Cemetery. Serving as pallbearers will be Bruce Trull, Erwin Cathey, Nelson Pearce, Charlie Gordon, Kurt Holmberg, and Jim Silliman. Honorary pallbearers will be Don Hawkins, Frank Robinson, Lloyd Penley, Larry Bemiller, Glen Boger, Jack Herren and Leroy Campbell. His family will receive friends from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to the National Rife Association Processing Center, P.O. Box 420648, Palm Coast, FL 32142.

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  1. I would express my deepest sympathy to the family and to Doug. Having lost both parents, my heart and prayers are with you all.

  2. I did not have the privilege to meet Mr. Cole, but I have had the honor of working with his fine son. It is obvious the kind of man Donald Cole was because of the exemplary man that Doug became. Thanks, Donald Cole, for your service to family and country. My deepest condolences to Doug and the entire Donald Cole family.

  3. Don’s Son Doug is my best friend and co-worker. Through mine and Doug’s long friendship, I feel I have known Don Cole all my life. I can truly attest that Don Cole is a rare native Western North Carolina Hero and Legend. On God’s timetable it will only seem as moments to Don until he is joined again by all his friends and Family in that Great City that he now resides which is not built by human hands. I salute you my brother and wish Doug, Sarah, Stephen and all the Family to confide in God as he promises to fulfill all your needs.

    In sympathy,

    Mickey Duvall
    229 Parrish Lane
    Franklin, NC 28734

  4. It was a pleasure to have known Don. My mother worked with Don for many years at American Enka, then when I met Don through his sister, Margaret, my mom was pleased with that connection! Don was greatly loved by family and friends. He will be missed but thankful for the lives he touched. My prayers are with the family as they deal with his passing. This parting is for a season and heaven awaits where there are no more goodbye’s.

  5. I am so sorry for your loss. Please remember you are all in our thoughts and prayers! Love to all
    Scott, Michele & Courtney Luther

  6. Our hearts and prayers go out to you at this time. We will always have fond memories and a warm place in our heart for Uncle Don.

  7. One thing for sure,Hookers Gap will never be the same ,no more seeing Don working in the fields..going up and down the road on his tractor,a warm wave of the hand…we have lost a pillow of our community…there will never be another like him..words cannot say enough about him…Linda know you are in my family’s thoughts and prayers…I am here anytime if you need me just call..Cherish his memories they are forever…Another great friend and neighbor gone but will never be forgotten……….

  8. My condolences to Donald’s family. He was a great neighbor and as others have said, we will miss seeing him working his farm and riding up Hookers Gap to Colebrook. My grandchildren would always yell ‘Hello Mr. Donald’ when he went past the house even though he couldn’t hear them. My heartfelt sympathies go out to Linda and all of his family.

  9. I was very sad to read of Don Passing away. I grew up on Pole Creek and spent many a hot afternoon helping Don and Furman put up hay. What a good time it was. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  10. Dear Cole family,
    As I write this it brings back many great memories of Don and my dad. Tractors, motorcycles and anything else with an engine seemed to be so much fun with the two of them. Don always teased me about how they had to trade a nice car in because they had me! There is no telling what kind of messes he and daddy will get into in heaven! I am thankful of their friendship and the kindness always shown to me and my children by you both.
    With much love and respect,
    Kimberly Holt Dawson
    Mike, Matt and Katie Dawson

  11. Linda,

    I’m so sorry to read about the loss of your husband. Reading the other guestbook entries and knowing what a great lady you are, tells me what a fine man he was. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

    Karen Edwards
    (Joan Robinson’s daughter)

  12. Linda and Doug,

    My wife and I send our love and prayers to you. I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated all the days helping Don on the farm when I was growing up. I learned so many things about farming and about hard work. I will never forget the fun times riding motorcycles on the mountain. Don has lived a long and prosperous life and now it is time for him to rest. All our love,

  13. Linda,

    We were so sorry to learn about the passing of Don. I know you have many good memories to cherish. Please know you are in our prayers.

    Leta & Robert Dover

  14. Dear Linda, Doug and Family,
    Don lived a long, wonderful life and has gone to receive his reward. Mother, Helen Burrell, is in Colorado with my sister, Pam, and could not be here during the time of his farewell. She was devastated when I called to inform her of Don’s homegoing. Don was so dear to her. In her words ‘like a brother’. After the passing of my Dad, Zeb, mom has had a big hole in her heart. Now there is another part of her heart that has moved on to Heaven. It will seem very strange not to see Don going up and down the road in his ‘orange buggy’ or working in his fields, but he will be remembered. All our family send you our love and prayers in the days ahead. May you feel God’s strong arms around you as go through this time of mourning.

  15. On behalf of my Mother, Vera Warren Elkins, age 93, we offer our deepest sympathy in the passing of her cousin, Don Cole. Her Mother is Ellen Brooks Warren, sister of Selma Brooks. The years pass too quickly and lives change as those years pass. I wish that Mother could have known all of her cousins more. At one time, she could tell you who they were.

    Vera Warren Elkins
    Joyce Elkins Dover Evans

  16. To the Cole Family:

    I did not have the honor of meeting Mr. Cole but I have the continuing privilege of working with his son Doug. My heart goes out to the entire Cole Family. I hope that you find comfort and strength in your faith and in one another.

  17. I did not have the privilege to meet Mr. Cole, but his son Doug is one of my most cherished friends. I have had the honor of working for Doug for the past five years and we have shared many stories about his father. Having known Doug and his son Stephen, it is evident that Donald was a wonderful man! My deepest sympathies go out to you Doug and the entire Cole family. I will be thinking of you!

  18. Doug
    Tractors, hay, cattle, hunting, fishing, and family. Seems he lived fully in a life he loved. My sincere condolences to you and yours.

  19. Linda and family. I just learned of your husband’s passing and I send you and the family my deepest sympathy and I have you in my prayers.

  20. It was with a sense of great sadness that your classmates and myself learned of the passing of your husband. We understand the sense of loss you are experiencing. I only wish there was a band-aid that could be used to make you feel better. However, we know that there is no consolation but we want you to know that during this period of loss you remain in our prayers. Know full well that time is a wonderful healer. Hopefully, time will serve as the band-aid for recovery.


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