William Lee "Bill" Cole
1940 - 2020
{ "" }
Share William's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
William "Bill" Lee Cole

Old Mission Peninsula - William "Bill" Lee Cole, 79 of Old Mission Peninsula and formerly of Holt, MI passed away September 16, 2020 at his home.

Bill was born on September 18, 1940 in Pontiac to the late Raymond Lee and Margaret Virginia (Danton) Cole. He graduated from Waterford High School, received his Bachelor's degree from Michigan State University and his Master's and Ph.D degrees from Wayne State University.

Bill spent 30 years as a professor in Mathematics Education at Michigan State University, including extension programs around the world. In addition to teaching at the university level, Bill co-authored a series of K-9 math books for Houghton Mifflin, many of which are still in use today.

With his wife, JoAnn, Bill retired to the Old Mission Peninsula in 2000, where he became involved in the Old Mission Historical Society which led him to become a founding member of the Peter Dougherty Society, leading the 15-year restoration effort of the Dougherty Mission House. He was a member of the Old Mission Congregational Church and found comfort in his faith. Spending time with his family was a joy and important to Bill.

Bill ran track at MSU and was a lifelong Varsity "S" Club member. He was an enthusiastic Michigan Spartan University sports fan, particularly Michigan State Hockey, serving as President of the MSU Blue Line Club for several years.

Bill is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years, JoAnn (Kokmeyer); daughter Dana Lee Cole, son Danton Cole, his wife Debbie and their three daughters, Ashton, Madeleine and Payton. He is also survived by his sister Barbara Kunse, her husband Ron, Sister-In-Law Diane Cole and many nieces and nephews. Bill was preceded in death by his brother Charles Cole.

A celebration of Bill's life will be held on Sunday September 27 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at the Jolly Pumpkin Restaurant and Brewery on the Old Mission Peninsula in the Peninsula Room. Brief reflections will take place at 2:00.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Peter Dougherty Society or the Old Mission Congregational Church Building Fund.

The family is being cared for by Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Lansing State Journal from Sep. 18 to Sep. 20, 2020.
Celebration of Life
01:00 - 03:00 PM
Jolly Pumpkin Restaurant and Brewery on the Old Mission Peninsula in the Peninsula Room
02:00 PM
Jolly Pumpkin Restaurant and Brewery on the Old Mission Peninsula in the Peninsula Room
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home
Not sure what to say?
3 entries
October 6, 2020
Just read about Bill and wanted to offer my sincerest condolences. I surely remember Bill from LCC gatherings many years ago. I will keep you and your family in my Prayers and close to my Heart as time moves forward.
God Bless You All,
Rick carrow
Rick Carrow
September 20, 2020
My condolences, thoughts and prayers are with Bill's family. I had the pleasure to serve on the Blue Line board with Bill back in the day. Enjoyed getting to know him, JoAnn and his family. Had fun renewing that friendship the last few years at Munn and on the road. Will always remember his smile and sense of humor. He will me missed by everyone who had the opportunity to know him.
Janeen Geisenhaver
September 20, 2020
JoAnn, Dana Lee & Danton;
Was so surprised to hear of the passing of Bill. I so enjoyed my years of being Bill's secretary at Teacher Education for over 19 years and working with him when he taught in Traverse City and coming to visit. He will be truly missed. My prayers are with you and the family on your loss.
Karen Gray
Karen Gray
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences