Ormond Anthony Cole

ormond cole

July 29, 1925 ~ December 31, 2021

Born in: Leicester, NC
Resided in: Leicester, NC

Ormond Anthony Cole, 96, passed peacefully at home in the presence of his family, rejoining his loving wife of 66 years, Naomi Massie Cole.

Ormond was born on July 29, 1925, in a one room log cabin to the late Grady and Willie Cole. In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by his sister, Ophelia.

Ormond grew up in a time when clothes were still made from flour sacks, outdoor outhouses were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, traveling stores came around, horsepower still referred to mules and teams of horses, and corn and wheat fields existed where Patton Ave. lies now. Electricity came to Newfound when Ormond was 10 years old but his family didn’t know what to do with it. At age 19, his country called, and Ormond proudly served in the 339th Infantry of the U.S. Army from October, 1943, to January, 1946. He deployed to Naples, Italy, and served in three major campaigns: Rome-Arno, Northern Apennines, and Po Valley. He specifically served as the 60mm mortar gunner and was awarded two Bronze Stars and the Purple Heart. A highlight of his later life was visiting the WWII Memorial with the honor air program.

Following his service in the war, he worked at American Enka, retiring as foreman after 42 years. He also loved to work on his farm where he raised tobacco, Hereford cattle and hay, and served on the board of the Buncombe Co. Farm Bureau. He was a lifelong member of Zion Hill Baptist Church, a founding member of the Newfound Community Development Club, and volunteered countless hours in service to his community and church.

He loved to travel, though never used maps. He would point the car toward a horizon and followed the sun. He was a plainspoken man of conviction who would hold firm on what he thought was right. He was a wealth of knowledge and experience for all who knew him. He was loved and respected and will be deeply missed.

He loved his wife, his community, his church, and his family, especially his grandchildren. He is survived by his sons, Anthony Cole (Kay) and Gary D. Cole (Sara); and grandchildren, Eli Cole and Annie Cole.

The graveside service with military honors will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 5, at Zion Hill Baptist Church Cemetery. The Revs. Bobby Smith and Jackie Collins will officiate.

His family would like to express their thanks to CarePartners hospice, especially Pam and Amanda, for their tireless service and support for the past year.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Newfound Community Center, 1342 Newfound Rd., Leicester, NC 28748.


Funeral Home Assisting The Family:

Groce Funeral Home - Patton Ave.
1401 Patton Ave.
Asheville, NC 28806


Graveside Service: January 5, 2022 1:00 pm

Zion Hill Baptist Church Cemetery
1008 Newfound Road
Leicester, NC 28748

View current weather.

Memories Timeline


  1. So sorry to hear of Ormond’s passing. Such a stalwart of the Newfound Community who gave so many hours to maintaining the Newfound Community Center along with Naomi. Anthony and Gary, you had a dad to be so proud of as he was of you. You have my deepest sympathy.

  2. Some of my fondest memories of my time spent in North Carolina were on the Cole family farm. Whether it be enjoying some of the finest home cooking I’ve ever eaten from Naomi or hanging with Ormond, Gary and Anthony in the tobacco fields and barns soaking in all the wisdom, humor and rural farm know-how. Ormond epitomizes what scholars have called the Greatest Generation. I send my deepest sympathies to Gary and Anthony in this time of loss of such a fine man.

  3. Ormand Cole was one of the brightest and sharpest elders I’ve ever known. Also, he told such wonderful stories out of his rich and varied history, some of which I heard twice! He was also a wonderful grandad to my grands, Eli and Annie. He will be missed by so many. His kind don’t come along much anymore.

  4. So very sorry to hear of Mr. Coles passing. He was a favorite customer of ours at Leicester Supply, always such a polite gentle man with a smile on his face each time he would come to the store. They just don’t make them like that anymore. May God give his family the peace that only he can during this time.

  5. So sorry to say we have lost another of the greatest generation. He was a wonderful neighbor and friend to us. We were very fortunate to have him and his family next door. He was a hero and I loved talking with him about the war and things in the valley that happened before my time. He came up in hard times and was full of wisdom. He knew what the meaning of work was and did a lot of it when he was able bodied. I already miss talking with and seeing him around. May God bless and comfort his family in the coming days.

  6. He was so blessed to be surrounded by so much love and devotion. Though I never met your dad, I smile thinking of all the stories you have shared. Our thoughts and Prayers are with you and your family.

  7. Many stories were told by Ormand over the years. I never tired of listening to him nor eating Naomi’s cooking. Blessings to your family.

  8. So sorry to hear of Ormond passing. He was a fine man. I will always remember visiting your mom and him. They give me good advice on situations. Praying for the family.

  9. Anthony and Gary, Larry and I are so very sorry for the loss of your sweet Dad. He was such a sweet and funny man. I always enjoyed talking with him. He will be dearly missed. Our love and prayers are with each of you.

  10. Anthony and family, I’m so sorry to hear of your dear father’s passing, but I know you will always have
    wonderful memories to treasure forever.

  11. Gary, we are terribly sorry to hear of your and your family’s loss. I know your father will be greatly missed. Tommy and I send our condolences and prayers for y’all.

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle