Robert Charles Cole's journey through life ended on Feb. 8, 2011, as the result of a tragic accident. Bob will be greatly missed by his college sweetheart and wife of 43 years, Diana (Eve) Cole. Bob's life was enriched by his children, daughter Shannon L. Cole of Sanford, and son Robert Ryan Cole of Tempe, Arizona. As father and husband, he was the rock of the Cole family.
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Bob was born on June 28, 1948, in Deckerville, to Charles and Luella (Wagner) Cole. He graduated from Deckerville High School and St. Clair County Community College. Bob was also an alumnus of Central Michigan and Western Michigan Universities. His career in education began in 1970 at Meridian High School in Sanford, where he was a beloved teacher, coach, and colleague for nearly four decades. His courses in history, geography, math, and industrial arts were enriched daily with life lessons before retiring in 2009. He continued coaching cross country, a sport he helped initiate at Meridian in the early 80s, as well as track and field. His positive impact in athletics was recognized by his induction into the Midland County Sports Hall of Fame this past October. More importantly, his legacy of compassion, patience and leadership - in practice, competition, and life - lives on through thousands of his former athletes and students.
Bob was a talented woodworker and loved nature. His image of being covered in sawdust, grinning while plowing the garden on his John Deere, or putzing with his beloved greenhouse will be fondly remembered.
While Bob enjoyed all aspects of life, some of his most cherished times were simply stopping to talk with a community member, creatively supporting his family's pursuits, or spending time working around the yard. Coach Cole enjoyed a life filled with the laughter of his community's youth and quiet times wrapped in the love of his family and nature. May his loving spirit and the memory of his easy demeanor and simple contentment comfort and inspire all who deeply miss him.
In addition to his wife and children, Bob is survived by his mother, Luella Cole; sister, Irene Cole; as well as brother and sister-in-law, Richard and Joyce Goller, all of Deckerville. Also surviving Bob are his mother-in-law and father-in-law, Albert and Bernice Eve; along with his sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Mark and Lisa Luidzius, all of Canada. Uncle Bob was loved by several nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his father, Charles Cole; and brother-in-law, Philip Eve.
A memorial service will be held on April 16, 2011, at 1 p.m., at the Meridian Senior High School Gymnasium. The family will receive friends at the high school from 11 a.m. until the time of the service.
Those wishing to make a contribution in Bob's memory may submit their donation to the Robert Charles Cole Foundation, c/o of Members First Credit Union, 600 W. Wackerly St., Midland, Michigan 48640
Smith-Miner Funeral Home
2700 W Wackerly St
Midland, MI 48640
Published in Midland Daily News from Apr. 4 to Apr. 20, 2011