John Cole, WWII veteran, dies at home

DOWNEY - John Francis Cole, a World War II veteran and longtime resident of Downey, died at his home April 28.He was born to John and Mary Ellen (Molly) Cole on Aug. 30, 1925, in Brooklyn, New York. He was the eldest of four children followed by Timothy, Helen and Kathleen Cole. He joined the Navy at age 17 and served four years during WWII. After discharge, he met his future wife, Charlene S. Wells. They were married Oct. 19, 1947. Cole was recalled to serve in the Korean War and was discharged 1 1/2 years later due to encephalitis. In 1953, the couple bought their home in Downey. They joined the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church congregation in 1957. In 1959, they began their family when they had two children, John Michael and Sue Ellen Cole. Cole's job took the family to Tulsa, Okla., for five years beginning in 1983. He retired from Baker Oil Tools in 1987 to pursue leisure hours on the golf course, mainly at the Rio Hondo Golf Club. This lasted only a few years due to his health. Cole coached youth sports for OLPH and the Downey Junior Athletic Association for several years. A rosary was held in Cole's honor on Monday at Downey Zrelak Family Mortuary. A funeral Mass took place at OLPH on Tuesday.

********** Published: May 14, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 4