Gary Dennis Cole, 77, of Columbia, Mo., formerly of Vandalia, Mo., died at 11:08 a.m. Monday, June 20, 2022, at his home.
Services were held at 4 p.m. Saturday, June 25, 2022, at Waters Funeral Home. Burial with full military honors followed in the Vandalia Cemetery.
Visitation celebrating Gary’s life was held at 3 p.m. until the time of the service Saturday at the Waters Funeral Home.
Gary was born Nov. 12, 1944, in Louisiana, Mo., the son of Oliver William and Mary Frances (Rubemeyer) Cole.
Survivors include a son, Travis Cole of Hannibal, Mo.; daughter, Andrea Primus of Columbia, Mo.; grandson, Matt Cole (Kristine) of Centralia, Mo.; granddaughters, Katy Cole, Mary Primus and Maggie Primus all of Columbia, Mo., and a great-granddaughter, Beverly Cole due to make her entrance in this world next week.
In addition to his parents, a sister, Sharon Jean Blake, died earlier.
Gary graduated from Van-Far High School in the class of 1962. He went on to honorably serve his country in the U.S. Navy as a maintenance engineer on the USS Independence during the Vietnam War.
Cole worked as an EMT/paramedic for the Audrain and Marion County Ambulance Districts during the 1970s. He later went to work at the brick plant in Vandalia and retired from as the maintenance manager from the Missouri Veterans Home in Mexico.
Away from work, Gary enjoyed the simple life on his farm. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, tinkering around his farm and even doing a little welding when needed. In the past few years, Gary enjoyed spending time at his son’s river camp along the Mississippi River. Family was everything to Gary. He always made sure to be there to cheer on and encourage his children and grandchildren at their sporting events. When weather allowed, Gary could be found riding the highway on his Harley.
Honorary Pallbearers Chuck Trabue, John Stringer, Craig Shotwell, Dennis Smith, Ben Basye and Mick Haden.
Memorial contributions may be made to Southside Baptist Church, in care of Waters Funeral Home.
Online condolences may be made to the family and video tribute viewed on Gary’s memorial page at www.watersfuneral.com.