Saturday, April 20, 2024

James “Jim” Herbert Cole, 78, of Gloucester

James “Jim” Herbert Cole (Amory Funeral Home)

James “Jim” Herbert Cole, 78, of Gloucester, Virginia, passed away peacefully from complications with Parkinson’s Disease, with his loving wife Josie, by his side. Jim was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, son, and friend to all who knew him.

Born in July of 1945, in Cortland, NY, to Kenneth and Harriet Cole, Jim’s early life was marked by his passion for music and community. A talented sousaphone and trumpet player, he performed with the Cortland High School Concert Band, Syracuse Brigadiers Drum and Bugle Corps and was a faithful member and choir singer at Cortland United Methodist Church for many years.

His commitment to service extended beyond his community as he honorably served two tours in the Vietnam War with the 9th Infantry and 4th Infantry Divisions, forming lifelong bonds with his fellow soldiers and looking forward to reunions in recent years.

After Vietnam, Jim married his first love, Yvonne “Vonnie” Rose Cole, who predeceased him. Together, they raised two sons, James and Andrew. Jim’s career as a model maker spanned several companies, including Smith Corona, Monarch Tool, and Welch Allyn Corporation, where he contributed to the research and development of new medical devices until his retirement in 2010.

Following Vonnie’s passing, Jim moved to the Newport news, Virginia area to be closer to his son Andrew and his grandchildren. It was there he met and married Josephine “Josie” Mitchell on April 16, 2016. Together, they continued to serve and enjoy fellowship at Warwick Memorial United Methodist Church.

Jim was known for his towering presence, standing at 6’2″, yet he was as gentle and loving as they come. A dedicated fan of Syracuse University sports, the New York Yankees, and the New York Giants, he shared his love of sports with his family and friends.

Jim’s profound impact extended beyond his immediate family to the communities he served with a generous heart. A pillar in his church, Jim led by example as the chair of the Evangelism Team, where he dedicated himself to spreading faith and compassion. His commitment to service was further demonstrated through his volunteer work with Rise Against Hunger and People Offering Resources Together (PORT), and Red Bird Mission in Kentucky, organizations which were close to his heart. Jim also supervised open floor young men’s community basketball program at his church, always ready to lend a hand or offer guidance. His enthusiasm for helping others was infectious, making him a beloved figure among all who knew him.

He is survived by his loving wife, Josie Cole; sons, James and his wife Diana, Andrew and his wife Kymberly; stepchildren, Cindy Earley and her husband Alan, Sheryl Branyon and her husband Ian, Paul Mitchell and his wife Dorothy; brother, Kenneth Cole; sisters, Alice Caughey and Jeanie Cole; grandchildren, Alyson, Samantha, Drew, Kiara; great-granddaughter, Giana; and numerous step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren. This extended family, along with a vast community of friends and relatives, have all been deeply touched by Jim’s boundless warmth, generosity, and the spirit of kindness he extended to everyone he met.

A celebration of life service will be held on Friday, March 1, 2024, at 2 p.m., at Warwick Memorial United Methodist Church, followed by reception at the Church.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to People Offering Resources to Others (PORT) or National Parkinson’s Foundation in Jim’s memory, honoring his lifelong commitment to helping others.

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