Cole, Russell Warren
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August 7, 1915 - November 11, 2012
Russell Warren Cole, born August 7, 1915 in Los Angeles, CA, passed away peacefully at home on November 11, 2012 at the age of 97. He was surrounded by his children and their families. Russ attended public schools in L.A., graduating from Virgil Junior High, and then Hollywood High in 1933, where he rarely missed a reunion. He attended L.A. Junior College and graduated from the University of Oregon in 1938 with a Bachelor's Degree in Business. He began working for his father's business, C. W. Cole & Co. Inc. in L.A., manufacturers of commercial lighting fixtures. During this time, Russ married the love of his life, Elizabeth "Libby" Rudy, after which he was drafted into the Coast Guard and later into the U.S. Navy during World War II. He returned to the family business following the war and expanded it, moving it to South El Monte where Cole Lighting continues to grow as a family business. In his youth, he was an Eagle Boy Scout, an avid backpacker and fisherman. He was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, the Los Angeles Optimist Club, the Masonic Lodge, the Sierra Club, the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), and served as past president of the Pasadena Shrine Club. He was an avid stamp and coin collector, loved to watch the L.A. Dodgers and Oregon Ducks teams, and enjoyed traveling. He especially loved his mountain cabin in Big Bear Lake. He was predeceased by his wife, Libby, and sister, Barbara Cole Thackwell. He is survived by his three children and their spouses, Stephen Cole, Donald Cole and daughter Susan Cole MacFarlane, as well as six grandchildren, Elizabeth Cole, Kathryn Cole, Gregory Cole, Kristen Cole, Meghan MacFarlane, and Sean MacFarlane. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, employer, businessman, and friend and will be truly missed by all who were privileged to know him.
Private graveside services will be held at Forest Lawn, Glendale, on Saturday Nov.17. A Memorial Service will follow at 11am at the Pasadena Presbyterian Church, located at 585 E. Colorado Blvd., with a reception following. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations may be given to the Los Angeles Shriners Hospital for Children (support.shrinershospitals.org
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Nov. 15, 2012