On the morning of April 22, 2020, Jim entered into the presence of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ after a courageous battle with a prolonged illness. He was comforted by his loving wife and children in his final days. Throughout his illness his faith in the Lord never waivered, and he never questioned the Lord.
Jim was born on July 2, 1942 in the Norton Creek community in Sevier County, TN to Ray and Kate Cole. He started as a brick and block apprentice under his father at the age of 12 years old and went on to become a well respected mason and General Contractor for the remainder of his life. The quality of his work can still be seen today in the construction of several colleges, hospitals, motels and fine homes throughout Tennessee.
After committing his life to Christ in 1993, Jim’s main priority became serving the Lord in humility and sincerity of heart. At any given opportunity he was always witnessing to others about the goodness of the Lord. Jim was faithful to the church, serving on Pastor’s Councils and in the ministry of benevolence; he recognized that his blessings came from above, and he blessed others in return (many that we know of and many that only eternity will reveal). His life exemplified Micah 6:8. “He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Second to his love for the Lord was his unwavering love for his family. He made sure that his children and grandchildren had an easier life than he had growing up. Jim loved horses and raised Appaloosas, Paints, and Quarter Horses, becoming a life long breeder of the Skipper W line. From an early age, Jim dreamed of having a ranch out West, and because of his faithfulness, the Lord gave him the desire of his heart when he and Betty moved to Broadus, MT in 2019.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Kate Cole, his son Jon Richard Cole, his brother Bobby and his sister Connie.
Jim is survived by the precious love of his life and wife of 58 years, Betty; his son Jimmy Cole and wife Tina; his son Joseph Cole and wife Lisa; his daughter Candace Sims and husband Jon; Katie Seago, who brought so much joy to their lives; sisters: Betty Jo Reagan, Pat Reed, Lou Lafollette (Larry), Nancy Clabo (Denny); grandchildren: Walker Cole (Ashley), Cheyenne Cole; Taylor, Madison, Sydney, and Joshua Cole; Jonathan, Nathan, Sarah, and Josiah Sims; one great grandchild on the way and several nephews and nieces.
In Lieu of flowers, please consider giving to your church’s benevolence fund, world missions, or a local family in need.
Special thanks to the medical staff at the Holy Rosary Hospital in Miles City, MT.
An entry in Jim’s journal read, “Help me, I pray, to finish my life totally dedicated to you.” Praise the Lord for answering that prayer!