OBITUARY

Rose Mary Cole

March 8, 1931April 5, 2021

Rose Mary Cole March 8, 1931-April 5, 2021 “Elegant”… “gracious…” “a quiet saint”… “a subtle powerhouse”… those are just a few of the adjectives used to describe Rose Mary Cole, who left April 5, 2021 -- almost a month after her 90th birthday -- to be reunited with her loving husband, W. Warren Cole, Jr., and the many relatives and friends who preceded her, including daughter Sandy (Cole) Mooneyham. Missing her beyond words are daughters Mary (Cole) Hester (and husband, Mark) of Colfax, NC (formerly of Baton Rouge, LA), and Carol Cole Czeczot (and husband, Mike) of Black Mountain, NC; and sons Stephen Cole (and wife, Jeanna) of Summerfield, NC, and John Cole (and wife, Tai), of Tallahassee, as well as grandchildren Matthew Mooneyham of San Augustine, TX, Jacob Cole of New York City, Jessie Cole of Chicago, Caroline Cole and Jackson Cole, both of Summerfield, NC, and John Edward Cole and Owen Cole, both of Tallahassee. Born March 8, 1931 in Pilot Oak, KY, Rose Mary was the first of three children born to Pauline (Jones) Morris and John L. Morris (her brother John and sister Norma are deceased). Pauline (“Polly”), a teacher before her marriage, named her first daughter Rose Mary after a dear friend who also taught. Her parents moved the family several times, first to Salt Lake City, Utah, where Rose Mary attended the University of Utah, studying business administration and home economics. In 1950, the family moved to the Daytona Beach area, where her parents bought what then was the Aztec motel on Ridgewood Avenue. Meanwhile, her future husband and recent law school grad Warren had returned to the Daytona Beach area, and was a member of First Presbyterian Church – where Rose Mary also had established a faith connection. During their courtship, Warren persuaded her to attend a college closer to Florida, so she enrolled at the University of Alabama. But after they vowed to “love, honor and cherish” each other on Sept. 8, 1951, Rose Mary transferred to Stetson University in DeLand, where she also worked part-time while a newlywed. Despite the demands brought on by giving birth to five children in 10 years, she also was deeply committed to her church and community, volunteering in schools and PTAs and getting involved with the YWCA and YMCA and various ballet and piano lessons and basketball teams. In the early years of her marriage, she worked part-time at the Daytona Beach law firm co-founded by her husband and the late Thomas T. Cobb (known today as Cobb Cole). She served a term as president of the Peninsula Juniors and remained active with the local alumnae chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha, her college sorority. She was active in the Presbyterian Church (USA), a leader in the Women of the Church and later an elder. She also served on her presbytery's Committee on Ministry, and later worked at the Presbyterian Counseling Center as office coordinator. In a 1993 interview with the Daytona Beach News-Journal, the center’s director, the late Dan Taylor, said Rose Mary’s real role was as a confidant. “She just knows how to relate to people who are hurting and need a lot of care,” Taylor said. “She’s one of those ‘quiet saints’ that you don’t meet every day, or, if you do meet them, you don’t recognize them. She has been… a treasure to me and to every single person I know who is associated with the center.” Many of her friends spoke of her warm smile and sparkling eyes, and her unwavering dedication to the people and causes closest to her, using such words such as “a beautiful, gracious woman” and “a woman I admired and respected.” Rose Mary also loved to read, both for pleasure and to be informed about her community and world. She helped instill this love in her children in many ways, including regular visits to the former “Ol’ Corny” – the S. Cornelia Young Memorial Library -- in Daytona Beach. She also nurtured other children's reading skills as a volunteer tutor at Ortona Elementary School. When her children left for college, Rose Mary would often send them letters that included clippings of articles she thought they'd find interesting. In the early 2000s, Rose Mary brought her gifts of empathy and compassion to her volunteer role at the Josephine Field Davidson Cancer Resource Library at Halifax Health Medical Center. Rose Mary and Warren also were long-time members and supporters of First Presbyterian Church before joining Westminster-By-The-Sea Presbyterian Church in Daytona Beach Shores. As their children grew, the family regularly traveled by car on two-week summer vacations that ranged from stays at Fontana Village in the Smoky Mountains and visits to other Southeast destinations as well as regions in the West. When the children were on their own, Rose Mary and Warren continued their travels, to various locations in Europe, Alaska, upstate Maine and Nova Scotia. Rose Mary also cherished beautiful places closer to home. She often took her children to the beach, where she also enjoyed “hand-in-hand” walks with Warren. Family picnics in area parks further fostered the children’s appreciation for nature, and Rose Mary also encouraged an appreciation for the arts. Rose Mary and Warren lived for many years in their home on Flagstone Drive, where they developed a vast network of friends while raising their children. In the late 1990s, they moved to the Grand Coquina condominiums in Daytona Beach Shores. Warren passed away Nov. 1, 2008, and Rose Mary decided to move in mid-2012 to River Landing at Sandy Ridge in Colfax, NC, a faith-based, not-for-profit division of The Presbyterian Homes, Inc., near her son Stephen and his family. Rose Mary will be interred with her husband at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell. Immediate family members will hold a memorial service at a later date. Donations may be made to Presbyterian Counseling Center (go to https://presbyteriancounseling.com/; click on the yellow “Donate” button at the top-right of the page) and FPC Daytona (visit https://www.fpcdaytona.org/ and click on the yellow “donate” button mid-page). -- "Well done, good and faithful servant" (Matthew 25:21)

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Rose Mary Cole

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