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Charles Lee Cole

Sep. 30, 1944 - Jan. 5, 2021

Date of Service: Jan. 12, 2021

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Charles Lee Cole, a 76-year-old resident of Rupert, died at Oak Creek Rehabilitation of Kimberly on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021, after an extended illness.

Charles was born Sept. 30, 1944, in Twin Falls, Idaho, the fourth child born to Charles Don and Dorothy Louise Sellers Cole, joining a brother, Don, and two sisters, Patty and Judy. He grew up in Rupert where he received his education and graduated from Minico High School in 1963. Football was an important part of his high school life. His character was formed by the teachings of Coach Matthews as he and his friends celebrated many wins and losses throughout his high school years. Along with Coach Mathews, Charley had friends in school that he counted as good friends, Louie Dobbs, Jim O’Donnell, Richard Hieb, Clarence Sparks, Don Linsey and Terry Short. Louie and Charley’s houses were separated by an alley way; so the memories of time spent with Louie were many as they grew up as little boys together. Jim O’Donnell was a friend that Charley spent a lot of time with too – stories probably that shouldn’t be told…maybe.

Charley entered military service in September of 1963 where he received an honorable discharge after serving for three years in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. While in the service, he received the National Defense Service Medal for marksman with a rifle and was trained as a mechanic. His training as a mechanic directed him to several jobs in the Rupert area. After ending his career as a mechanic at Cameron Sales, he was hired by Minidoka Irrigation District as a ditch rider. Charley truly loved his job, the people he worked with, and the farmers and people he had the opportunity to serve. The farmers were good to him. Many days he was given a slice of chocolate cake or apple pie and bags full of garden produce. He counted those farmers as his friends.

While working at MID, Charley formed special friendships with Terri Short, Lucky Ballance and Mazel Hammond. After retirement, it became a habit for them to meet at the café for coffee a couple of times a day. Jerry Ballance joined the group shortly after suffering a stroke. During those sessions, many problems of the world were solved just by the discussions that were had as they sat around the table. Charley knew if he ever needed help with anything, he just had to give one of them a call and they would be there – and they were.

Charley liked to go to the coffee shop and that is where he met his future wife, Vicki Smith. Vicki was a 16-year-old waitress at J & L Café, which was a favorite spot of Charley’s for after- work coffee. After Vicki graduated, she and Charley became close friends. They were married in April of 1975 in Elko, Nevada. As the years passed, they were blessed to become the parents of Melodie, Cory and Bryce; they joined Charley’s two children from a previous marriage, Tina and Tony. They raised their children in Rupert. Charley and the boys were fishing and hunting buddies, but only after all the work was done. Charley was a believer that we all pitched in together and did whatever jobs needed to be done before any play was allowed. Play was a reward for a job well done. It didn’t matter if it was a niece or nephew visiting – or anyone else for that matter – the work had to be done in order to play.

Charley was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Through the guidance of Dr. Margo Saunders, he was able to remain fairly active up until the last several years. As he aged, additional ailments affected his body which led to a steady decline in the past couple of years. He was able to stay home until he suffered a bone fracture which affected his ability to walk. His inability to raise himself or walk – along with his diagnosed dementia – led him to be admitted to an extended care facility.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents; parents, Charley and Dorothy Cole; brother, Don Cole; sister, Patty Arnold; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Marvin and Carol Smith; brothers-in-law, Mark Smith, Joe Cole, Rex Dorius, and Ernie Baker; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.

Charley is survived by his wife, Vicki Cole; daughters, Melodie Cole and Tina Cole; sons, Cory Cole (Mandy), Bryce Cole (Elizabeth), and Tony Cole; sister, Judy Baker; sisters-in-law, Barbara Cole, Debbie Dorius, Roxanne Dimond, Karleen (Ron) Straley, Susan Draper, and Cindy Turner; brothers-in law, James (Sherrie) Smith and Kip Smith; his aunt, Wilma Sellers; grandchildren, Danika Cole, Makiah Cole, Macy Cole, and Baylen Cole; and many nieces and nephews that truly loved him and will miss him.

Words cannot express the love and appreciation we feel for the nursing and medical staff at Minidoka Memorial Hospital in Rupert, and Oak Creek Rehabilitation of Kimberly. We realize caring for a patient with a mental ailment is challenging.

Charley truly loved Dr. Saunders. We are forever grateful for the opportunity she provided for us to create more memories with him. Thank you, Dr. Saunders, and your staff as well. We will miss our visits!

The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - Rupert West Stake Center, 26 S. 100 W., of Rupert, with Bishop Derik L. Smith officiating. Military rites will be provided under the direction of the Mini-Cassia Veterans Group. Burial will be in Rupert Cemetery.

Friends may call from 5 until 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 11, at Rasmussen-Wilson Funeral Home, 1350 E. 16th St., in Burley, and at the church on Tuesday from 10 until 10:45 a.m.

A live webcast of the Funeral Service will be available at the following link: https://youtu.be/efSteuN9neQ.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the wearing of face masks will be required at the viewing and funeral service.

Condolences for Charles Lee Cole

Comments may be screened and removed by the staff as deemed appropriate.

From Sandra Stevens:
Jim and I watched and listened to Charlie’s touching service from our home in Gilbert, AZ. What a wonderful tribute to my classmate at Minico HighSchool. I did not have too many classes with Charlie, but I knew who he was. Jim’s Aunt Evelyn Dunn thought the world of him when he was her neighbor in Rupert. His family and friends are in our prayers.
From Sandra Stevens:
Jim and I watched and listened to Charlie’s touching service from our home in Gilbert, AZ. What a wonderful tribute to my classmate at Minico HighSchool. I did not have too many classes with Charlie, but I knew who he was. Jim’s Aunt Evelyn Dunn thought the world of him when he was her neighbor in Rupert. His family and friends are in our prayers.
From Karen Rasmussen:
Vicki, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. It is hard, but we know that the time does come when it is for the best, and does get a bit easier with time. Surely do love you and am grateful to have you as my friend. Much love to you and your family.
From Clara Jensen :
Sorry for your loss ..praying that your family finds strength though it all ... he was a good man to know...
From Diana Warburton:
So sorry for your loss. Charlie was a great ditch rider.
From Cathy & Leonard Ingalls:
Vicki and family, we send our thoughts & Prayers.. He will be missed by everyone who had shared a cup with him...most all of Rupert...God Bless you all
From Brett Reynolds:
Sorry for your loss, Charlie was a great guy, always made time to visit with me when he was doing his water rounds, he will be missed
From Bill & Carol Shockey:
We have fond memories of Charlie. May God wrap his arms around you Vicki and your family.
From Vickie DeBruin:
Sending love and prayers for you. Vicki is a very special lady and I dearly love her. Charley was very much loved.
From Dan & LaWanda Murri:
So sorry to hear about Charley. Sending prayers for you and your family.

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