Mr. Harry Wellborn Cole, 68, died peacefully in his home Monday July 16, following a long struggle with Alzheimer's Disease.
Funeral services will be held 2 p.m. Friday, July 20, 2012 at Welch Funeral Home Chapel.
Burial will follow at Oddfellows Cemetery with Gentiva Hospice Chaplin Lynn Ronaldi officiating.
Visitation will be held noon to 2 p.m. Friday, July 20, 2012 before the service at Welch Funeral Home.
Welch Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Mr. Cole was born in Memphis, Tenn. on Oct. 1, 1943 and grew up in Starkville, attending public school there and graduating from Starkville High School. He graduated from Mississippi State University, served in The Army Reserve and later completed a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Southeastern University in Washington, D. C. He began his career at The Kennedy Space Center in Deland, Florida, being associated with the scheduling and testing support for the Apollo/Saturn Rockets and The Lance Missile.
He continued working in this field and the related field of defense contracting for over 20 years, ending his career with Vega Precision Laboratories in Vienna, Virginia. While in Virginia he was active in the community with his children's activities, as well as ushering at church and at the Wolf Trap Performing Arts Center.
Mr. Cole returned to Starkville in 1990 to care for his father. The move was a fortunate one for Mr. Cole as he was reacquainted with his high school crush, Patricia Taylor. After some convincing, she agreed to a date, which lead to a happy 20- year marriage. Pat and Wellborn enjoyed traveling together all over the county with their long-time friend Dianna Boring, attending local plays, MSU football games and just spending time together in his family home with their menagerie of pets.
Mrs. Cole was his faithful companion and caregiver during his extended illness. She will miss most his quick wit, easy going nature and generous heart. After his first retirement and return to Starkville, Mr. Cole was the owner of the local Sears store and co-owner of a retail business, Needful Things. He also worked as a greeter for Walmart, reconnecting with many more of his childhood friends.
Mr. Cole was an active and involved father, participating in all parts of the lives of his children. He never missed a chance to coach or attend a soccer or baseball game, or a piano recital. His children also always enjoyed going on walks with him and spending time with him and his pets, and listening to his singing and guitar playing. Mr. Cole was a lover of and was loved by animals, beginning when he was a child with pet rabbits, squirrels, crows, dogs, cats, and his horse which he frequently rode from the family home on Wood Street, across the pasture that is now Highway 12 and into the fields and woods that later became Pleasant Acres.
He was a follower and fan of all MSU sports and was also an avid bridge player with The Senior Citizen Bridge Group, often bidding by the seat of his pants to score an elusive win. He was a member of First United Methodist Church and was an unassuming man who lived by the principles of Christ. He was a quiet friend to the friendless, always giving generously to those who were forgotten and never expecting anything in return. The family wishes to express their deep appreciation to the caregivers of Gentiva Hospice for their knowledgeable, kind and loving care and support, and presence.
Mr. Cole is survived by his wife of 20 years, Patricia Taylor Cole; son, John Wellborn Cole of Durham, N.C.; daughter, Caroline Ann (Carrie) Cole of Tucson, Ariz,; step-daughters, Amy Newell of Madison, Wis., and Heather Newell and her husband, Berhane Haptezion of New Orleans, La.; grandaughter, Mary Halina Habtezion of New Orleans, La.
Also surviving Mr. Cole are his special aunt, Lois Kilgore and his long-time friend and loving caretaker, Glenda Carpenter.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Harry LeRoy Cole and Lucy Virginia Wellborn Cole of Starkville.
Memorials may be made to Gentiva Hospice, 115 Highway 12 West, Starkville, MS 39759.
You can go online and sign the guest register at: www.welchfuneralhomes.com .