Richard William "Dick" Cole, 86, died peacefully Tuesday, June 11, 2013, at Casa Arena Blanca Nursing Center in Alamogordo. He was born Jan. 28, 1927, in Alton, Ill., to Sylvanus and Louise (Stiritz) Cole.
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Dick joined the Merchant Marines at the tail end of World War II and served as a radio officer for nearly a decade during the postwar years.
Dick loved his mother and sent home most of his pay to help her buy the home she lived in the rest of her life. He was creative, having won several awards for his designs and ideas, which were used by the government.
Dick married his lovely wife, Elizabeth Willis, on Feb. 26, 1950. He was an avid storyteller and father of seven children. Out of a desire to help their daughter Debbie Cole, Dick and Liz were one of the founding families of the program that is known today as Zia Therapy Center.
Living between elderly neighbors provided him ample time to teach his children about service to others. He enjoyed working on cars and provided free service to others. He loved gardening and animals, especially dogs and cats. Most of all, he loved Liz, his wife of 63 years. He will be missed by all.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother Sylvan Cole; sister Martha Urbanowski; daughter Ruthanne Louise Cole; and grandsons Bobby Cole and Richard Leo Cole.
Survivors include his loving wife, Liz; children Barbara Gilbert, Deborah Cole, Lisa Cole, Richard Willis Cole, James Cole and Michael Cole; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A graveside memorial service will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers and should friends desire, contributions may be made to Zia Thrift Store, 816 E. Ninth Street, Alamogordo, NM 88310 in memory of Dick Cole.
The family has entrusted their loved one to the care of Hamilton O'Dell Funeral Home to direct the arrangements. Cremation will take place at PCS.
To sign the online register book, please visit www.hamiltonodell.com
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from June 19 to June 30, 2013