Rhoda Cole
1926 - 2021
Northwood Funeral Home & Crematory
5608 Broadway
West Palm Beach, FL
Rhoda Cole
Frances (F.) Rhoda (Bachman) Cole was born in Newark, New Jersey, on August 7, 1926. She was the middle daughter to Philip and Mollie (Feldman) Bachman.
Rhoda grew up in Brooklyn and went to PS 161 for elementary school and Samuel Tilden High School, graduating in 1944. As a senior, she was voted "Most Cheerful" which is how most people always described her. Her smile would light up every room she entered. She was a tap dancer and tried out for the Rockettes, but she was too short, and they said her legs were too skinny! She ultimately began working as a bookkeeper in Manhattan in the women's wear manufacturing industry.
As a 16 year old, on Brighton Beach, she met Seymour Cole. Even though he professed love at first sight, she was busy sending letters to a dozen GI's during WW II. As Seymour served in Europe in the Signal Corps, his spirits were always brightened because of all of Rhoda's letters.
Upon his return, Rhoda and Sy married on Thanksgiving 1946. Moving immediately to West Palm Beach, they were two young kids looking to build their future together in the sunny south. Rhoda continued working as a bookkeeper in various jobs, while she helped Sy in his blossoming TV business. She became pregnant with her first child in 1948 (Mitchell, aka Aaron).
After have two more children in 1950 (Barbara, aka Babee) and 1952 (Sharon), Rhoda entered the world of real estate, starting with the Perrini Corporation, specializing in commercial properties. Always liking to be her own boss, Rhoda finally opened Cole Real Estate, concentrating in condominiums, mostly in Palm Beach. Four offices later, she became President of the Palm Beach Board of Realtors and President of the Palm Beach Realtor/Attorney Joint Committee. She also became involved at the state level in leading the CRS membership and loved teaching younger members entering the real estate profession. She received Realtor of the Year award in Palm Beach.
At the same time, as Jewish life in the Palm Beaches grew, Rhoda immersed herself as President of B'nai Brith, and started the Palm Beach chapter of Hadassah. Rhoda was a life member of both organizations. She received a lifetime achievement award from Hadassah and, as hostess with the mostess, she chaired many events for all of the organizations she was involved in. Rhoda was a leader her entire life, in the Sisterhood at Temple Beth El and Temple Emanuel.
As a mother, she was an involved, loving, glamorous, feisty, and fun-loving presence. After her fourth child was born in 1962 (Marcy), she and Sy moved to Palm Beach where they lived for 40 years. Sy and Rhoda were married for 74 years! Their love affair is what movies are made of.
Rhoda was an effervescent spirit and beauty, with ambition, joie de vivre, street smarts who was so proud of her accomplishments for a Jewish girl from Brooklyn. She was a force of nature overflowing with abundant energy. She was so proud of her family which was the center of her life.
Rhoda is survived by her husband, Seymour "Sy" Cole, Aaron Cohen (Jeff Greathouse) of LA, Barbara Cole Lee (Jonathan Lee) of Boston and Aspen, Sharon Beck (Barry Beck) of Danvers, MA, and Marcy Cole of LA. She will be missed by her 4 grandchildren: Jason Beck (Debra), Jodi Harold (Adam), Stacey Beck, Suzanna Lee, Alex Lee (Margi Dashevsky). In addition she was lucky enough to know her 5 great-grandchildren: Jonah, Aria, Molly, Lily, and Gillian.
Graveside service at Royal Palm Memorial Gardens will be private. A virtual Shiva Zoom will be hosted by Temple Beth El.
She was a blessing to all who knew her and may her memory be a blessing and may she rest in peace.
Published by Palm Beach Daily News from Jan. 17 to Jan. 21, 2021.
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6 Entries
Marshall Feldman
July 23, 2021
My Mom worked for Rhoda for many years at Cole Real Estate in Palm Beach and also at their South Ocean Blvd office (Ruth Meuleman Sarge). Rhoda and Sy were both delightful people to me as well as my Mom. Mom loved working for them. My deepest sympathy to the Cole and Cohen families. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
Steve Meuleman
January 21, 2021
We will always treasure the memories of Rhoda as my mother’s best friend. She was a loving and giving person to me through out the years. May she Rest In Peace knowing she was always there for family and friends.
Shelley Hill
January 17, 2021
Rhoda was my mother's best friend. She was the most loving and caring person. I will always treasure the memories I have of her.
My best to the family with lots of love,
Shelley Hill
January 17, 2021
We are so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts are with you and your family.
Terry & Judy Rowe
January 16, 2021
We remember Rhoda as a true Eshet Hayil. A woman of valor. Our hearts go out to Sy and the entire family at this time of loss. May you all be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
All’s and Peter Weisz
January 16, 2021
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