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Harold C. Cole

Harold C. Cole

Harold C. Cole, 98, of New London died Monday, November 19, 2018, at the Grace Living Community of GlenOaks in New London. His funeral service will be 11:00 am Saturday, November 24, 2018, at Peace Lutheran Church in New London. Burial will be at Lebanon Cemetery in New London. A visitation will be held from 5-7:00 pm Friday at Johnson Funeral Home in New London and continue one hour prior to the service at the church. He was blessed with an enduring faith in the Lord who now welcomes him home. Harold was born on September 9, 1920, in rural Hanley Falls, MN to parents Hannah and Lewis Cole. Following high school, he attended the U of MN and the MN School of Business. He joined the Navy in 1942, where he attained the rank of Ensign, and served in the Philippines until 1946. While on leave he married Phyllis Tollefson of Granite Falls, MN in 1945. To this union his children Autumn Vicki Cole and Lewis John Cole were born. Sadly, daughter Nancy Jean Cole passed away at ten months from the Asian Flu in 1959. Hal started his banking career in Montevideo, MN and then became president of Murray County State Bank in Slayton, MN from 1954-1962. His family moved to New London, MN in 1962 after he and Phyllis purchased the First State Bank (now United MN Bank). They also opened Cole's Real Estate and New London Insurance Agency. After selling the bank in 1974, he remained on the board of directors until retiring at age 86, after 60 years in the banking business. Over his lifetime, Harold was a member and officer in numerous organizations including the Kiwanis, Lions, Toastmasters, American Legion, New London Improvement Association, as well as his home churches. He was a member of Peace Lutheran Church in New London. Other civic accomplishments include assisting in establishing the Little Crow Golf Course, GlenOaks Care Center, Peaceful Hills Mobile Home Park, and Cole's Island View. He and Phyllis were proud to be honored as Grand Marshalls in New London in 1993. Hal went through life with a positive approach to life and cheerful personality. He was kind, caring, and a joy to be around. His personal motto was "helping others is what life is all about." He was known for telling many Norwegian jokes and for his great sense of humor. In their retirement years, Hal and Phyl spent winters in Pahrump, NV, where they enjoyed golfing, playing cards and being outdoors. They also enjoyed the times they spent helping son Lewis during his farming years. Grandsons Joshua and Christopher also brought much joy to their lives. Special trips to visit daughter Autumn and husband Phil were also a highlight. Hal especially appreciated time conversing with friend Harold Young and other former bank employees, Joyce, Bev, and Ruth. Hal was known for his remarkable memory and fine storytelling, especially of years past. He often shared these stories at the annual Cole reunions, Tollefson cousin reunions, and while visiting with caring niece, Arlys Jensen and husband, Don. More recently, he loved the time spent with his great-grandsons, Finley, age 3 and Bennett, age 1. Hal was ever so grateful for the deep friendship and many joyful times he shared with his special friend Phyllis Tompt during the past ten years, as she brightened his life immensely. Harold is survived by his devoted children Autumn Vicki Cole (Phil Hyde) of Ely and Lewis John Cole of New London, grandsons Joshua Cole and Christopher (Kalie) Cole, great-grandsons Finley and Bennett Cole, former daughter-in-law Michelle Cole, special niece Arlys (Don) Jensen, cousin Sandy (Bob) Fagen and many other relatives and friends.Harold was preceded in death by his loving wife of 53 years Phyllis, in 1998, infant daughter Nancy, and ten siblings. Hal's positive attitude and caring spirit will live on in all whose lives were touched by him.