Willard Houston Cole was born Oct. 21, 1924, in Terrisita, to Dallas and Annie Henrietta (Gillum) Cole. He die Sunday, in Claremore, at the age of 87 years.
Cole grew up in the Rose, area where he attended Smith Chapel School. He served his country proudly in the Unites States Army during WWII. He saw action in the South Philippines and Western Pacific Islands. His service resulted in him being awarded a Philippine Liberation Ribbon with one Bronze Star and a Good Conduct Medal.
On Aug. 15, 1946, in Pryor, Wilma Eudora Littlefield and Cole were united in marriage. The couple lived in Rose and Tulsa for some time before making Peggs their home for over 50 years. In Oct. of 2002, the couple moved to Chouteau.
Cole was a member of the Peggs Free Will Baptist Church where he was an ordained deacon. He was also a member of the Mayes County D.A.V. and recipient of a 50 year Masonic pin through the Covey Lodge #460 in Locust Grove. Cole worked in construction and truck driving. He retired as an Assistant Foreman for McDonnell Douglas after 30 1/3 years of service.
Cole enjoyed hunting and fishing. He also enjoyed time spent raising cattle.
Cole is survived by: his wife of over 65 years, Wilma, of the home; three sons, Steve Cole and wife Rita of Peggs, Tom Cole and wife Barbara of Cleveland, and Charles Cole of Peggs; two sisters, Rosie Ethel Troglin of Pryor, and Nettie Pauline Holmes of Orangeville, Calif.; 10 grandchildren, Lance Cole and wife Cristy of Peggs, Jana Williams and husband Walter of Fort Wainwright, Alaska, Ryan Cole of Oklahoma City, Misti Hightower of Cleveland, Diann Cole of Peggs, Charles Russell Cole of Peggs, Dani Stone of Peggs, Stephanie Meeder and husband Steve of Verdigris, April Stone of Peggs, Laura Wilcoxen and husband Lowell of Owasso; 21 great grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives, and a host of friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, 7 brothers and 3 sisters.
Funeral services are 2 p.m. Thursday at the Peggs Free Will Baptist Church. The Reverends Phillip Buford, Jerry Troglin, James Rice, and Lance Cole will officiate. Interment will follow at the New Home Cemetery in Peggs. Services have been entrusted to the Locust Grove Funeral Home. To leave thoughts, memories, or condolences visit www.locustgrovefuneralhome.com.