TALMO - Joe Wilbur Cole, 96, died Thursday, February 23, 2012, following a period of declining health.
He was born in Wilkes County, the son of the late Charlie and Ellen Simpson Cole. He was the oldest member of Pendergrass Baptist Church and was the last surviving person who helped in building the Pendergrass Baptist Methodist Church in 1935. Mr. Cole was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Woodie Gee Cole; brothers, T.J. Cole and Charles Edwin Cole; and sisters, Allene Fricks, Grace Cole and Ruth Martin.
Mr. Cole attained the rank of sergeant in the United States Marine Corp in World War II. He was a machinist on amphibious tanks and served at the battle of Saipan, Tinian, Iwo Jima and the Occupation of Japan. He was awarded the Purple Heart Medal. After returning to Pendergrass in December 1945, he farmed and then began building houses and helping family and friends by doing plumbing and electrical work, repairing chicken house equipment, and was called on to work on anything that needed "fixing." Later he worked for many years at McEver Packing Company and Gold Kist Pork in Talmo.
Survivors include his sons and daughters-in-law, Don and Lois Cole, Jefferson, Larry and Susan Cole, Baldwin; and daughter and son-in-law, Linda and Joe McMullan, Talmo; grandchildren, Julie Cole, Paris, France, Teresa Cole, New Orleans, La.; Brant and Cindy McMullan, Jefferson; Mark and Donna McMullan, Hoschton, and Lisa Cole, Boston, Mass.; and great-grandchildren, Tempe` Cole, Elizabeth, Sara, Cathryn, Manci, and Marlee McMullan.
Funeral services will be held Saturday February 25, at 2 p.m. at Pendergrass Baptist Church with the Revs. Kevin Burgess and Ervin Goss officiating. Interment will follow in the Pendergrass Baptist Church Cemetery. Honored as pallbearers will be W.T. Sosebee, Lt. Col. Tom Taylor, Marty Lance, Benny Stansel, Jim Love, and Joe Elrod. Honorary pallbearers will be Bruce Elrod, Henry Underwood, Bill Hazelgreen, Luther Pruitt, Hoyt Garrett, and the Rev. Chester Hall. The family will receive friends on Friday February 24, 2012 from 5 until 8 P.M. at Evans Funeral Home.
Those desiring can make memorials to Pendergrass Baptist Church or Pendergrass Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, P.O. Box 146, Pendergrass, GA 30567.
Special thanks to Compassionate Hospice of North Georgia nurses, Susie Leach, Shaconda Verdell, Roz Hutchinson, BraDana Hurry-Clanton and spiritual advisor, Barbara Campbell.
Evans Funeral Home, Jefferson, is in charge of arrangements.