Kenneth George Cole, 89, of Ocala, passed away on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at his home in Ocala, Florida. Ken was born July 13, 1933, to Pauline Beatrice Cole (nee Day) and Gard Cole in East Orange, New Jersey.
Ken was a people person and brought light wherever he went. After serving in the US Navy Submarine Service during the Korean war, Ken returned home to New Jersey to begin his college studies. Ken and Nora started their family and then moved to central Florida where Ken continued his studies and worked in the Aerospace industry. Ken received his bachelor’s degree from Rollins College in Winter Park as one of the first in his family.
Ken and Nora spent two happy decades of retirement in Oak Run where they made many new friends and reconnected with old friends. After Nora’s passing in 2016, Ken was lucky to find love a second time with his wife Gretta.
Ken enjoyed spending time worshiping and volunteering with the Ocala West United Methodist Church, attending meetings with the Sub-Vets Nautilus Base, and visiting family as often as possible.
Ken was preceded in death by his parents, his wife of 58 years Nora Cole (nee Minnis), daughter Linda May Cole Hoft, Brother Jerome Haigh, Sisters Lucile Just (nee Haigh), Mildred Cole Clark, and Valerie Cole Hupp.
Ken is survived by his loving wife of five years, Gretta Cole (nee Beck) of Ocala; son Peter Andrew Cole (Rob Talbot) of Laguna Beach, CA, son-in-law John Anthony Hoft of Mandeville, LA; Grandchildren Ashley Nora Hoft Autin (Tony Autin) of Philadelphia, PA, Lauren Aileen Hoft Tyrney (Joey Tyrney) of Madisonville, LA, Andrew Kenneth Hoft of Mandeville, LA; and great grandchildren Abigail Grace Autin, Mackenzie Anne Autin, Cole Kenneth Tyrney, and Cade Timothy Tyrney.
A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, June 21, 2023 beginning at 11:00AM at Ocala West United Methodist Church 9330 SW 105th Street, Ocala, Fl 34481. A burial service will be held for Ken and Nora at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery on Thursday, June 22, 2023 at 2:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations may be made in Ken’s name to your favorite charity or to:
- Hospice of Marion County https://www.hospiceofmarion.com/donate/
- Ocala West United Methodist Church https://www.ocalawestumc.com/giving.html
- Ocala Veterans Helping Veterans https://vhvusa.org