John Glenn Cole
August 26, 1947 – April 7, 2019
John Glenn Cole, 71, of Kingsley, passed away on April 7, 2019. John lived his life from the beginning to the end. He loved and was loved. He is still loved and will be missed by those of us who remain here. We will all hold the memories we shared with him close and hopefully these memories will bring smiles upon our faces and within our souls.
John entered the world on August 26, 1947 to the delight of Eleanor and Walter. He grew up in the Detroit area along with his three siblings. After graduating from Thomas M. Cooley High School, John attended Ferris State University and then was drafted into the U.S. Army and served for 3 years. A rekindled romance with his high school sweetheart, Maggie, led to marriage and John selflessly becoming stepfather to her four young children. They raised their family near Ortonville and enjoyed passing the time playing games, talking, laughing, taking road trips to North Carolina, and a million other special things that make a family…a family. John was an avid reader, passionate about the game of golf, builder of many decks and flower boxes, crossword puzzle extraordinaire, who knew the questions to most Jeopardy answers and (unfortunately) a lifelong fan of the Detroit Lions (whom can honor him best by winning a Super Bowl before we are all dead).
John is survived by his loving wife of forty years, Maggie, his four children and their spouses, Michelle (Greg), Suzanne (EJ), Matthew and Gretchen (Roby), and five grandchildren, Jake, Josh, Jack, Alec and Santiago. He is also survived by his three siblings, Peggy (Howard), Jim (Sandy) and Lolly along with many wonderful nieces and nephews. "And now you know the rest of the story." - Paul Harvey
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
John Glenn Cole
April 20, 2019
As far back as I can remember, my world has involved my Uncle John. I absolutely loved every moment I spent at his house and with his family. My uncle was an honest and loving man. Busy working and raising four kids, he always made me feel welcome in his home and his life. Together my aunt and uncle created a magical childhood home. They raised their children in a beautiful house surrounded by woods. They had an entire chalet on their property that they could have used for storage, but instead set up as a play space for their children. Later, as their children grew, they invested in an above ground pool. Football, bocce ball, croquet, two-hand touch football, badminton, bonfires, charades...these were the fabric of our lives at my aunt and uncle's home. So many of their traditions were woven into the fabric of our childhood and live in my heart today.
I am now raising four children myself and know first hand how busy life is, how much work goes into that achievement. He, they, made it look so easy. They made room for family meals, time together, laughter and love. They carved out a foundation of love in their home, a foundation that now extends into all of our homes.
My uncle always found time to ask me about my life and wasn't afraid to be honest with me when I was off track, but he did so in a way that made me always feel loved and accepted by him. He loved my brother and I, and asked nothing in return from us. This perhaps, is the greatest gift you can give another. I will miss his love of the Lions, his sense of humor, his laughter, the joy in his voice when he talked about his wife, children and grandchildren. I will miss hearing the story of the trouble my father got him into once when they were teens. I will miss my uncle and I am so grateful to have had him in my life.
April 11, 2019
I will always love you as I have for most of my life. You are my hero, my light, my love. I miss you so much and will always love you to the moon 🌙 I love you so very very much.
April 10, 2019
John came into my life when I was a little boy and he was just a young man. He was thirty-two when he married my mother and became a stepfather to four young children. His friends must have thought he was crazy. He said as much when I last saw him, thirteen days before he died. We were sitting at the kitchen table and I was getting ready to leave. He started crying. He hadn’t slept the night before and he said it was because he didn’t know what to say to me. This was our goodbye. As much as I didn’t want it to be…it was. I knew what needed to be said in that moment because it was something I had never said and I needed to. I thanked him for being a part of my life. I told him that he influenced me in so many ways. He only asked, “Was it good?” I assured him it was. It really was. I hugged him and told him I loved him.
John never asked for me to call him dad. He never really asked for anything from any of us. He accepted us as we were. He just wanted us to be happy. But our relationship was definitely that of father and son. He treated me as his own and helped me become a man. I am not sure I would have done the same and that’s what makes John a better man than me.
It’s unavoidable to not be influenced by your parents. When I started to connect the dots in my life, most of those dots originated with John. Stephen King, video games, golf, football, baseball, basketball, hockey, bocce ball, croquet, bowling, meteor showers, mowing, shoveling, chopping, building, BBQing, eggs, Ernie Harwell, Paul Harvey, M.A.S.H, Taxi, Jeopardy, deep sea fishing, beach umbrellas, reading, music, cards, fires, smores, kerosene heaters, plastic rinks, Intellevision, outdoor Christmas lights, wasp nests, knocking before you look and so on and so forth. So many dots. I’d like to tell you every single memory I have, but I will leave you with just a couple. And perhaps we can each share more memories if our paths should cross, reader.
April 10, 2019
We loved to go to the arcade. It was usually something just the two of us did. Being a kid, you mix excitement with pop (soda), it is a recipe for peeing your pants. I did. John never said a word. He knew, but he didn’t say a word. He was never one to intentionally embarrass you. That was never his style. He knew some things were best left alone.
We once took a family trip to a Canadian beach along Lake Huron. John, myself and two of my sisters were out swimming when we were all caught in a riptide. John was able to get me out of it and throw both of my sisters to some strangers. He saved or lives that day. I remember him saying it was a scary situation. He was always forthright and I appreciated that.
And for you, John…
On February 9, 1986, we stood in the cold and watched Halley’s Comet pass overhead through the night sky while standing in the backyard. It is a once in a lifetime event for most. It was for you. If I make it to 2061, I’ll see it for the second time in my life. And I will think of you. I will always think of you. Thank you for being my dad. You did good. I love you. I will miss you.
Your son, Matt.
April 10, 2019
What fun and great person. He will be missed. Thoughts are with Maggie and family.
April 10, 2019
My heart goes with Maggie and her family as they change the pieces around to patch the hole he's leaving behind. He had a presence that couldn't/wouldn't be denied. I was John's college roommate 52 years ago -- and survived his energy, pace, outlook, and passion for living. Times, places and distances have changed over those fifty years. . .but never our bond and love. I've known Maggie for almost as long, and have always felt blessed that they were both part of my life. We always knew how to pick up right where we had left off. I will miss John Cole very much.