Vernon Cole

  • "Uncle Vernon was a kind and caring person and will be..."
    - Lannie, Rachel, Lannie Jr. and Caleb Davidson
  • "Deepest sympathy to Charlie and all of the family. I..."
  • "Vernon was a wonderful individual, who gave generously of..."
    - Bruce Ayers

On December 5, 2013, Vernon J. Cole ended a fulfilling life that earned him a cherished place in the hearts of all who knew him. A native of Jackson County, KY, Mr. Cole was born in 1924 and graduated from McKee High School. After serving in the United States Air Force during World War II, he completed an under-graduate degree at the University of Kentucky, where he was the first student to receive a pilot's license through the ROTC program. Mr. Cole then spent 5 years as a pilot for the Strategic Air Command before settling in Harlan County, KY, where he continued to fly with the Air National Guard, earning the rank of Major. A resident of both Harlan and Cumberland, Mr. Cole was the President of Harlan National Bank and Guaranty Deposit Bank, received a Master's of Bank-ing from Louisiana State University, served as Presi-dent of the Kentucky Bankers' Association, and served on the Cleveland Branch Federal Reserve Board. He was also an initial shareholder and board mem-ber of Cardinal and Area Bancshares, which intro-duced Lexington to private banking through the Vine Street Trust Co., later acquired by BB&T. While living in Harlan County, Mr. Cole was the chair of the Southeast Community College Board and the Appalachian Regional Hospital Board, was a member of Harlan Baptist Church and Cumber-land Baptist Church, and was active in the Lion's Club. Mr. Cole spent his retirement years in Sarasota, FL, where he was a member of Sarasota Baptist Church, and in Lexington, KY, where he was a member of Emmanuel Baptist Church. He continued to fly airplanes into his 80s and will be remembered for his love of flying, his leadership in the community, and his dedication to his family. He is survived by his adoring family, including his wife Sara Witt Cole of Lexington, KY; his daughter, Belva Collins and husband Ted Collins of Lexington, KY; his son Philip Cole of Portland, OR; his daughter Elizabeth Cole of Knoxville, TN; and his son Charles Cole and wife Renae Cole of Lexington, KY. He also is survived by his grandchil-dren: Toby Collins, wife Eunice Jin, and children Kaia, Ripley, Brogan, Eve, and Creed Collins of Fairfax, VA; Courtney Creasy, hus-band Michael Creasy, and sons Chase and Max of Richmond, VA; Zachary Steele, wife Lindy Steele, and children Braden and Brooke of Nashville, TN; Whitney Steele and Taylor Steele of Knoxville, TN; Alexandra Cole of San Jose, CA; and Walden and Hudson Cole of Lexington, KY. In addition, Mr. Cole is survived by his brother Lee Roy Cole of Lexington, KY, and his sisters Letha Coffey of McKee, KY; Lucy Smith of Kingsport, TN; and Shirley Medlock of Sarasota, FL. He was preceded in death by his beloved parents D.A. and Myrtle Cole of McKee, KY, and sister Virginia Kay Sharp of Jacksonville, FL. Donations in honor of Mr. Cole can be made to Immanuel Baptist Church or Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington, KY, or Southeast Community College in Cumberland, KY. Family visitation will be held at Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, KY, on Sunday, Dec 8, from 2-5pm and at Lakes Funeral Home in McKee, KY, on Monday, Dec 9, at 11am followed by a funeral service at 1pm. Internment will be at the Reynolds family cemetery at Annville, KY.

Funeral Home
Lakes Funeral Home
1181 Main St. S McKee, KY 40447
(606) 287-7141
Funeral Home Details
Published in Lexington Herald-Leader on Dec. 7, 2013
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