Joseph Edgar Cole

Born: Mon., Nov. 25, 1929
Died: Thu., Feb. 8, 2018


Celebration of Life

1:30 PM Sun., Feb. 18, 2018
Location: Pendleton Presbyterian Church


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Joseph Edgar Cole, age 88, passed away on Thursday, February 8, 2018 at St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton, Oregon.  A celebration of life service will be 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 18, 2018 at the First Presbyterian Church in Pendleton.  A reception will follow at the church in the Rogers room.

Joe was born in Baker City, Ore. on November 25, 1929 to Nelson and Hester Cole.  Joe spent his early life living in and around the small town of Pondosa, Ore.  When Joe reached high school, he returned to Baker City to live with and provide care for his grandmother.  While attending Baker City high school, Joe excelled in athletics and was captain of both the football and baseball teams.  After graduating high school in 1940, Joe attended college first in Idaho and then in La Grande at Eastern Oregon College.  In La Grande, Joe continued his love of athletics as a member of the college boxing team.  One day while on a class field trip, Joe met the love of his life, Mary (Jones) Cole.  Joe and Mary were wed on March 25, 1950 while still attending college.

Upon graduating college, Joe enlisted in the US Army and proudly served as a sergeant first class in the 25th ID   As a soldier, Joe spent 18 months in Korea, most of it on the MLR.  Upon signing of the cease fire, Joe returned to Pendleton to his wife Mary.  Joe’s life was defined by his love at family and friends and his career as an educator in Pendleton.  

As an educator, Joe first served as a teacher at John Murray Jr. High.  After gaining his Master’s Degree from the University of Oregon, Joe became an elementary school principal overseeing Adams, West Hills and Lincoln grade schools.  While serving as an educator in Pendleton, Joe was able to provide a positive impact on the lives of many area residents.

Joe spent 66 wonderful years with his wife Mary.  During this time they traveled the world together sightseeing, golfing, skiing or just having adventures.  Joe also loved the outdoors and camping, hunting and fishing.  He would always do his best to include not only family but also friends in all of his exploits.

Joe was preceded in death by his wife Mary and a grandson Patrick Garton; sister, Elizabeth (Betty) Bosworth; brother, Gilbert Cole; step sister, Jo Anne Bellato.

He is survived by his daughter Teri and her husband Doug Garton; son John Cole and his wife Tanja; granddaughter, Elizabeth; step sister, Doris and her husband Roy; step brother, Gene and his wife Irma.

Memorial contributions in Joe’s memory may be made to the Retired Pendleton Teacher’s Scholarship Fund in care of Pendleton Pioneer Chapel, 131 SE Byers Ave., Pendleton, OR 97801.

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shirlee nirschl
   Posted Sun February 11, 2018
I have been thinking about Joe since hearing of his death.What a guy!He touched so many lives,including three of my kids.I jsut feel so blessed to have known this amazing man. May God bless and comfort each one of you.Shirlee Nirschl.

Dave Webb
   Posted Wed February 14, 2018
I liked Joe very much he was a good man sorry to hear of his passing

Darcey Ridgway
   Posted Wed February 14, 2018
What a dear man! He will truly be missed. He was the principal at Lincoln Elementary while I attended school there. I will always remember his bright smile and personality and how much everyone loved him.

Ruth Fenton
   Posted Wed February 14, 2018
A sterling person.

Marjorie Iburg
   Posted Wed February 14, 2018
We're going to miss this special man. I remember him as always having a friendly smile to greet everyone, as one of those rare people who seemed so available to exchange friendly community comments, as a gentle soul who obviously cared so very much for those in his sphere of influence. He loved Mary deeply.

Lynn Mims
   Posted Fri February 16, 2018
Didn't know him well, but SUCH a kind gentleman

Dwight Clift
   Posted Fri February 16, 2018
He was my Little League coach over sixty years ago and simply said he was one of the best people i've known in life's journey, he was one of the good guys.

Tedde White Holcomb
   Posted Mon February 19, 2018
I'll always remember Mr. Cole! One of the best, kindest teachers! Most of us would not have passed JR High, if it wasn't for him. He truly cared for all his students!
So sorry I couldn't have been to this service. Blessings in the memories to all.

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