Cover photo for George W Cole Jr.'s Obituary
George W Cole Jr. Profile Photo
1934 George 2023

George W Cole Jr.

December 7, 1934 — December 18, 2023

George W. Cole, Jr., a man of genuine affection and delightful honor, passed away peacefully on December 18, 2023, in Greenville, SC, at the age of 89. Born on December 7, 1934, in Galveston, TX, George's life was a testament to his loving, friendly, and intelligent nature.

George’s father, a Coast Guard Commander, tended lighthouses and was stationed accordingly. Growing up, George lived in every gulf coast state except Alabama. The family spent many special years on Santa Rosa Island, Fl, where George took a boat to school. He earned a Boat Captain license, loved the ocean and was a skilled fisherman, including underwater spear fishing. He loved lighthouses his whole life.

A proud graduate of Clemson University, George earned his degree in Agricultural Engineering in 1957. As a student, he was in the Cadet Corps. He went on to serve proudly in the Army and National Guard, honorably discharged in 1963.

George began his career in the textile industry, at at time when Greenville was known as the “Textile Capital of the World.” Working as an industrial engineer, he designed and managed textile facilities and operations, notably at Woodside and Brandon Mills. Later, he started and ran his own successful water treatment business.

As a family man, George was a loving father to Vera and Trey Cole. His legacy extends to his cherished daughter-in-law Jenny Cole, granddaughter Kathrine O’Leary-Cole and her husband Kelley Bronaugh, grandson Will O’Leary-Cole and his wife Dee O’Leary-Cole, and his adored great-grandchildren Nathalie and Paxton. To the grands, he will always be their sweet and fun “Georgy Porgy.” George was a beloved brother to Joe Cole and his wife Evelyn, and Corky Dyer and her husband Lewis. George leaves behind many cousins, nieces, and nephews who will miss him dearly, and treasured extended family in Texas. George was predeceased by his parents, George W. Cole and Francis Thiem Cole, his brother James Cole, and his sister Carol Kennedy, survived by her husband Bill.

George was an avid storyteller, writing humorous and touching family stories to share. He was legendary for his handcrafted wooden model airplanes, adorned with special messages, to be given with joy to others. The walls of his apartment, a veritable family museum, were filled with photos, memorabilia, and handwritten notes that reflected his love for family and his faith.

Known for his friendly demeanor, George could make new friends with ease, always remembering names, shaking hands or giving a salute, and sharing a laugh. His love for dining out was well-known, especially his fondness for seafood and IHOP, where the waitstaff knew him by name and order.

A lifelong Clemson enthusiast, George was nearly always wearing Tiger-orange shirt, jacket, or hat, or all three! His job as a mechanic at the Clemson Esso Station in the 1950s helped him meet his wife and start a family. Today, a picture of him with his children and this sweet old story hangs on the wall at the Esso Club.

George's life was a reflection of his favorite Bible verse, Romans 12:10, which calls for loving one another with genuine affection and taking delight in honoring each other. His warmth and kindness were the hallmarks of his character, leaving a lasting impact on all who knew him.

George's life story is one of resilience, love, and service. He faced mental health challenges with bravery, and his appreciation for the support he received was profound. He was proud of his country and his family's service, grateful for the privilege of living in the United States.

George W. Cole, Jr. will be remembered as a man who lived his life with love and joy, touching the hearts of many. His legacy will continue to inspire those who were fortunate enough to have known him.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Triune Mercy Center, 222 Rutherford St., Greenville, SC
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of George W Cole Jr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Monday, January 2, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Chapel of Cremation Society of South Carolina

6010 White Horse Road, Greenville, SC 29611

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