Jerold Nelson Cole
Was born in August 1937 to Joseph Truman Cole and Bertha Johanna Nelson Cole in Preston Idaho. Jerry was the 13th child of a ‘yours mine and ours’ family. Many of them were much older than he was, and he was an Uncle before he was born. His Father passed away when Jerry was only 11. He and his mom became especially close after his dad’s passing.
Jerry spent his youth tending cows, helping on the farm, thinning sugar beets, and milking cows. Mostly, he loved playing baseball any chance he could get.
He attended his elementary school years at the Fairview School. Eighth grade and up he attended school in Preston, Idaho. Jerry was an outgoing young man and had many friends. In later years, he loved attending his Preston High School Reunions and catching up with his graduating class and associates.
After High School, his brother, Jay T, was to be drafted during the Korean War, but Jerry knew it would be better for Jay T to stay and tend the farm. His mother wanted him to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He promised her that this would be his mission, and he would find the church or a way to worship every Sunday. In February 1956 he enlisted in the Air Force. His time in the Air Force took him to Parks AFB California (Basic Training), Little Rock AFB Arkansas, which took him to service in Sidi Samine AFB North Africa, and then to K-16 AFB Korea. During his time in the Air Force he remained faithful and diligent in his religious worship. Just like he promised his mother even when he was the only member at the base where he was stationed he would find quiet time for his own worship service. He was influential in the baptism of 20 individuals during his service.
A big part of Jerry’s life was devoted to sports. He loved playing baseball and softball and continued play “Church Ball” into his adult years. But mostly he will be remembered for coaching many a Young Men’s Softball or Basketball team. From the time he was first married until he had sons of his own he coached on and off. He was also commissioned with the task of taming the “Church Ball” in the Albuquerque Stake. He took it upon himself to get trained and teach others to referee basketball and umpire softball. Not only Refereeing at church but also High School Basketball in Albuquerque High Schools for 15-20 years.
Jerry was a “Telephone Man” beginning in 1960 shortly after being discharged from the military. He began as a Building Mechanic for the Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company. A year later he was learning to climb telephone poles and became an installer. He worked in the telephone company arena for 39 years eventually retiring from Lucent Technology in 1999.
The Most Important move he ever made was to Albuquerque New Mexico as part of his service in the Air Force in September 1958. He was stationed at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque New Mexico and keeping his commitment to his mom and find church services to attend in Albuquerque. Other servicemen of his faith invited him to a Church Halloween dance. While there, he questioned his friend for dancing with a little girl. . . She was the best dancer on the floor for sure. He finally ventured a dance with her and found that the pigtails and freckles were just her costume. Little did he know she would become his Eternal Dance Partner. They wed on Jerry’s 22nd birthday August 27, 1959, in the Idaho Falls Temple. Then the real dance began.
Jerry and Patty danced through many ups and downs in their life: the birth of 4 children, the loss of parents, the ups and downs of employment, service in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the death of their oldest child (Brian) serving in the Albuquerque Temple as a Sealer, as a member of the Temple Presidency (2003-2006), a mission together serving in the Nauvoo Temple, sealing in marriage almost every one of his grandchildren, enduring the health challenges of this mortality. Jerry and Patti danced the Jitter-bug through them all. Sometimes slowly and imperceptibly, other times upbeat and joyously. Teaching all their children and grandchildren to dance along the way. Most importantly to keep dancing! Even when his partner forgot the steps due to illness. With the help of his children, especially Paula Mortensen, who with her family, gathered them into their home and kept the dance going… And now that Jerry has gone to a heavenly home to be with his beloved wife, their children (4), grandchildren (24), and great-grandchildren (38) will keep the dance going because of Jerry and Patti’s influence.
Jerry passed through the veil of mortality on November 22, 2020. He is preceded in death by his eldest son Joseph Brian Cole, and the love of his life Patricia Jerre O’Brien Cole who he cared for almost 9 years through her challenge with Alzheimers. She passed away just before their 59th wedding anniversary. He is survived by daughter Lauri Drean (Robert Drean) son David Cole (Roberta Cole) daughter Paula Mortensen (Shawn Mortensen) and grandchildren (24) and great grandchildren (38)
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