OBITUARY: Gordon Arnold Cole.
Cariboo pioneer is remembered
Gordon Arnold Cole, a loving husband, father and grandfather was born August 13, 1919 and passed away November 24, 2005.
Williams Lake lost one of its pioneer citizens on Thursday, November 24, 2005 when Gordon Arnold Cole passed away in Cariboo Memorial Hospital at the age of 86.
Born Gordon Arnold Cole on August 13, 1919 to Mr. and Mrs. Williams Spoor Cole (nee: Hazel Lorena Ettinger) of Czar, Alberta, Gordon was the third of four children. They grew up on their parent’s farm, attending a one-room, eight-grade school taught by one teacher.
He, and his older brother, Donald Cole, travelled in horse-drawn covered wagons to Rocky Mountain House, where they farmed and logged. Being proficient with country life, and especially horses, Gordon, at 17 years old, decided to immigrate to B.C.
After a couple of years Gordon returned to Czar to marry Dolly Sybil Brown. On October 31, 2005 they celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary with their two daughters, Lynne and Shirley, and numerous friends and relatives. The young couple moved first to McBride and then later to White Rock, B.C. and later to various parts of Southern B.C.
But the Cariboo beckoned. This enterprising couple owned and operated a shop in Sam Marwick’s old blacksmith shop, where Gordon repaired chainsaws and was the agent for McCulloch saws.
When their daughters graduated from high school in Williams Lake, Gordon went back to his roots of ranching and raising animals. In 1965 he and Dolly successfully pioneered a cattle ranch in the MacIntosh Lake area.
When they sold the ranch, they moved to Enterprise to run a pole yard for McGillis and Gibbs. When the pole yard closed down, Gordon and Dolly moved their doublewide trailer to a lot on Dewar Lake, which over the years, became a beautiful park-like setting with lawns and a huge garden where they stayed for 18 years.
Gordon worked for Jacobson Brothers sawmill as their quality control officer for 10 years and retired in 1988.
Throughout his whole entrepreneurial life, Gordon enthusiastically accepted any challenge. He always saw humour in any situation. His boisterous laugh was most infectious. He will always be remembered for his love of the outdoors and his favourite pastimes of hunting and fishing.
In the year 2000 they sold their home on Dewar Lake, and moved in with their daughter, Shirley on Woodland Drive in Williams Lake where they stayed until Gordon’s health began to deteriorate in January 2005. In March 2005, they moved to the Williams Lake Seniors’ Village where Gordon was in and out of hospital from July until his passing in November.
Gordon leaves to mourn, his dear wife, Dolly, two sisters, Betty Tait of London, Ontario and Juanita Richardson of Stettler, Alberta, two daughters Lynne Widdoes and Shirley Nelson of Williams Lake, two grandchildren, Lonnie and Simone Widdoes and four great-grandchildren as well as many old friends and relatives from Alberta and the U.S.
He was predeceased by his brother, Donald Cole in 1988.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Gordon’s memory to the Cariboo Foundation Hospital Trust Fund for the CT scanner at post office box 2562, Williams Lake, B.C. V2G 4P2.
The family of Gordon Cole would like to extend their thanks to Dr. York and the doctors and nurses in emergency and on the second floor for their excellent care and compassion. Sincere appreciation and thanks to all our family and friends for the cards, food, flowers, donations and all your expressions of sympathy at this difficult time. Your kindness and support was very much appreciated and will be in our hearts forever.
Forever in our thoughts and our hearts.
Written by Gerry Bracewell, schoolmate and lifelong friend.