James Cole

Obituary of James Howd Cole

James (Jim) Howd Cole, 94 was called to his eternal rest on Thursday, September 10, 2020. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Louise (Bishop) Cole and by his parents James Moore Cole and Mae Euler and by his brother, William Cole. He is survived by his sister, Ann Cole Wallace, four daughters and one son, 10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren, and by numerous nephews and nieces. The story of Jim Cole (aka Pappy) and Louise is what inspires movie playwrights and song writers: A young man from Florida answers his country’s call to service during WWII. This lonely sailor in the middle of war-torn Pacific Ocean [he served in the Philippines as a Navy Seaman First Class], is told about the young sister of a fellow service member from Laurel, Mississippi. After seeing her photo, he sought permission to write to her. They corresponded for two years and after his honorable discharge from the service, Jim traveled to Laurel to meet his beautiful pen pal. Their courtship and subsequent marriage in 1946, spanned 75 years of a beautiful history of love, family and devotion. Jim started civilian life at a cotton mill and at Sears before returning in 1947, to his birthplace in St. Petersburg, Florida. Through hard work and dedication he studied the electrical trade and was active in his local IBEW as an Assistant Business Manager. Jim nurtured and fostered his chosen career by teaching evening electrical apprenticeship classes at Dixie Hollins High School and later at St. Petersburg Vocational Institute. He passed on this legacy generationally now to his grandson, Jon Nardin who operates a local electrical business passed on by his father, who studied under Jim. After retirement at age 62, Jim continued to serve as the recording secretary for the local electrical union and continued to live by the motto “family first”. Thus, he became fulltime caregiver to his mother in law, Inez Bishop and later to his beloved wife. He would lovingly read aloud the newspaper to Louise when her vision failed. Jim was the epitome of the “Greatest Generation” and led by example as a devoted husband, loving father who instilled a hard work ethic in each of his five children. Pappy endeared himself to all of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren and left his indelible mark of unconditional love on each family member. His hobbies included reading, dominoes, bridge, crossword and jigsaw puzzles, stamp and coin collecting, and music. As a teenager he set up his own makeshift chemistry lab in his parent’s garage. He also enjoyed genealogy and was a meticulous record keeper. A deep void has been left behind but his family will always cherish their precious memories of sweet Pappy and can find solace knowing that he has joined the waiting arms of his beloved Louise as she welcomed him to their Heavenly home. We invite you to share your memories on the funeral website. Friends will be received by family at the R. Lee Williams & Son Funeral Home in St. Petersburg on Friday, September 18, 2020 at 11A with the Service commencing at Noon. For those desiring, donations may be made to Disabled American Veterans (DAV.org/donate) in memorial tribute to: James H. Cole or via mail to the local office: Disabled American Veterans, 219 S. Betty Lane, Clearwater, FL 33756.
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Friday
18
September

Visitation

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Friday, September 18, 2020
R Lee Williams & Son Funeral Home
3530 49th Street North
St. Petersburg, Florida, United States
727-527-1177
Friday
18
September

Memorial Service

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Friday, September 18, 2020
R Lee Williams & Son Funeral Home
3530 49th Street North
St. Petersburg, Florida, United States
727-527-1177
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