Mr. Thomas “Tom” Luther Cole, age 78, of Fernandina Beach, passed away on Sunday, September 11, 2016 at Baptist Medical Center – Nassau.
Born in McCleary, WA, he was one of four children born to the late Elmer Luther and Vesta Ann Graves Cole. Tom grew up in Washington and was a graduate of Elma High School, Home of the Fighting Eagles. After high school he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps where he served until being honorably discharged in 1961. Upon being discharged Mr. Cole returned home and worked with the Port Blakley Companies. On July 5, 1968, he married Zuba Ann Hodges. In 1966 he joined ITT Rayonier in Hoquiam, WA, which spurred the moved to Montesano, WA, where he and his family remained until he accepted a transfer to Fernandina Beach, FL in 1981. He remained employed at the Fernandina Beach mill as a Foreman until retiring in 2000. After retiring from Rayonier, he worked with the Port of Fernandina until 2010.
Mr. Cole was a member of Wynooche Masonic Lodge No. 43, Elma, WA where he was a Past Worshipful Master. He was also a member of the Grand Lodge of the State of WA. After settling in Fernandina Beach he attended Amelia Lodge No. 47 on Amelia Island.
He was a lifetime and founding member of the Marine Corps League of Fernandina Beach.
Tom and his wife were longtime members of the Yulee United Methodist Church where he served on the Building Committee, the Board of Trustees and sang in the choir. Tom and his wife enjoyed camping with his family, supporting his girls by coaching and umpiring their softball games. He loved gardening and sharing its bounty.
His wife of 47 years passed away in August of 2015.
In addition to his wife, he is preceded in death by two siblings.
Tom leaves behind three daughters, Kelly K. Stipp (Chris), Harrison, AK, Donna Ennis, Fernandina Beach, FL, Tonya Cole (Corey), Fernandina Beach, FL, a sister, Mary Sue Samples (Doug), Olympia, WA, a brother in law, James Hodges (Rose), Olympia, WA, grandchildren, Roger Dickey, Colton Stipp, Kelsey Stipp, Amanda Priester (Antonio), Thomas Ennis, Rebecca Knowles, Stan Knowles, Ira Holton, nieces and nephews, Lisa Pim, Linda Tobin, Bruce Williams and Melody Mueller.
Memorial services will be at 11:00 am on Saturday, September 17, 2016 at the Yulee United Methodist Church with Pastor Charlie Sward, officiating.
Tom’s family will receive guests on Saturday, at the church, from 10:00 am until the hour of service.