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John D. Cole

3/17/1938 - 12/27/2018

ELMWOOD ~ John D. Cole, 80, of Elmwood, passed away at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, December 27, 2018 at the Illinois Veteran's Home in Quincy.
 
Born March 17, 1938 in Harrisburg to Levin Byron and Amelia Madaline (Mabry) Cole, he married Shari Martha Cole on November 10, 1961 in Creve Coeur.  She preceded him in death on September 12, 2014.  He also was preceded in death by his parents; one daughter, Rebecca Cole; one grandson, Ethan Cole; and one sister.
 
Surviving are one daughter, Katherine (Eric) Polen of Elmwood; one son, David (Tina) Cole of Farmers City; four grandchildren; two brothers, Thomas B. (Dr. Jill) Cole of Dover, Delaware and James M. Cole of Phoenix, Arizona.  He also leaves behind Jeri Lee Knippenberg of Lafayette, Indiana, whom he was raised with and was like a sister to him.
 
John had served in the United States Air Force from 1958 to 1975, serving in Japan, Korea, Germany, Italy and Vietnam.  He earned the Meritorious Service Medal for his service.
 
John had worked as a machine operator for Caterpillar, Inc. in Mossville from 1978 to 1983.  He later worked as a veterans employment counselor for the State of Illinois from 1990 to 2000.
 
He had been a member of the Ancient Free & Accepted Masons, Mt. Rushmore Lodge #220, the Elmwood American Legion and the Elmwood Veterans of Foreign Wars Post.
 
He was a member of the National Rifle Association, a small arms instructor, the General Wingate, Jr. Rifle Club in Rapid City, South Dakota and a Boy Scouts of American Scout Master in Sioux City, Iowa.
 
Private family graveside services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, January 3, 2019 at Hirstein Cemetery in Morton, where military honors will be provided by the United States Air Force and the Tazewell Military Rites Team.  Pastor John Vaughn will officiate.  Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Creve Coeur is in charge of arrangements.
 
Memorial contributions may be given to the Illinois Veteran's Home at 1707 N. 12th St. Quincy, IL 62301.