Mr. William Ralph Cole, born August 2, 1926, of Elizabethton, died Friday, April 6, 2012, at his residence.
He was the son of the late Brooks and Edith Hyder Cole. Mr. Cole was a graduate of Hampton Elementary School, Elizabethton High School in 1944 and the University of Tennessee in 1948 with a degree in Business Administration.
He was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II, having volunteered in 1944. Mr. Cole worked as Sales Manager at Courtesy Motors Company for twenty years and was an Automobile Dealer and Owner of C & T Volkswagen-Subaru for eighteen years. He retired in 1988. Mr. Cole became a member of East Side Baptist Church at the age of twelve. He was a member of the Brownlow Scalf Sunday School Class.
Mr. Cole became a Tennessee State Representative for Johnson and Carter Counties in January 1990 and served his constituents faithfully until November 2003. He served as a member of the Finance Committee, the Commerce Committee, the House Ethics Committee and the Veterans Affairs Committee. He will be remembered as a person who loved people and always tried to see the best in them.
In addition to his parents, Mr. Cole was preceded in death by a daughter, Linda Marie Cole; and a brother, Rondal B. Cole.
Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Dolores Oaks Cole; a son, Charles Brooks Cole, Elizabethton; two daughters, Dolores Ann Cole, Greeneville, TN, and Carol Cole Scruggs and husband, John P. Several cousins, nieces, nephews and many special friends also survive, including Kenneth Brumit, Jim Crowder, Reece Cole, Byron Milhorn, Conway Hyder, Bill Brookshire, Bill Broome, Bill Pate, Mack Cooper, Peter Hampton, Honorable Leon Jordan, Dr. J. Kelly Smith, Honorable Jimmy Naifeh, Honorable Don Sundquist, Honorable Tommy Haun, Honorable Steve McDaniel, Burney Durham, Kathy Dugger Edwards, Mark Dugger, Sam LaPorte, Pat “Red” Bowers, Ted Tipton, Becky Kent, Bridget Fendler and Sharon Walden.
The graveside service for Mr. William Ralph Cole will be private. Friends may sign the guest book at Tetrick Funeral Home.
Memorials may be made to the charity of your choice or to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38102-1905.
Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.tetrickfuneralhome.com and signing the guest book or by fax to (423) 542-9499.
Tetrick Funeral Home, Elizabethton, is serving the Cole family. Office: (423) 542-2232. Obituary Line: (423) 543-4917