FARMINGTON – Eugene M. Cole 97, of Farmington passed away Saturday, October 4, 2014, at the Camelot Nursing and Rehab Center. He was born July 28, 1917, at Delassus son of the late Lorris Dell and Lucinda (Hunt) Cole. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his first wife Joyce Marie (Swink) Cole in 1988, two brothers Freeman Cole and Lorris Durell Cole and a nephew Enoch Cole.
Gene graduated from Farmington High School and Flat River Junior College and attended the University of Missouri at Columbia. During World War II he served in France as a member of the U.S. Army after which he began and spent his entire career at the Farmington, Missouri Post Office where he became Assistant Postmaster. Gene was very active in numerous fraternal organizations. He was a 50 year member of the Farmington Masonic Lodge #132, St. Francois Lodge # 48 I.O.O.F., Farmington Knights of Pythias Lodge #434, and American Legion Post 416; a member of VFW Post 5896, the York Rite, Knights Templar, and a 32nd Degree Member of the Scottish Rite. Gene held many leadership positions in these organizations including: Grand Master of the Missouri I.O.O.F. in 1965, Worshipful Master of the Masons for four years, and Grand Pursivant of the State of Missouri. He also served as State President of the Missouri Association of Postal Supervisors from 1955-1957, was a member of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees, and was appointed to the Governor’s Council on Aging from 1991-1993. Gene also served faithfully for many years as the sexton and caretaker for both the Farmington Odd Fellows Cemetery and the Farmington Masonic Cemetery.
Gene was a member, Treasurer, and former Elder of the Farmington Presbyterian Church. He generously contributed to many groups and causes to better his community. At the annual Farmington Chamber of Commerce banquet, Gene was named Citizen of the Year for 2007. He was an avid reader and had an exceptional memory and capability for calculation.
He will be missed by all those who knew and loved him including his wife of 25 years, Maxine (Overall) Bequette Cole of Farmington; step-children Nancy (Mike) Wamble of Kirkwood, and David (Jeanine) Bequette of Kirkwood; step-grandchildren Rebecca, Elizabeth, and Catherine Wamble all of Los Angeles, California; Mitchell Bequette and Caroline Bequette, both of Columbia; and nieces Fern (Bob) Kohler of Blue Springs and Debbie Eck of Farmington and nephew Tom (Cathy) Cole of St. Charles. In addition, numerous other relatives, dear friends and neighbors also survive.
Friends may call from 5-8 p.m. on Monday, October 6, 2014, at the Cozean Memorial Chapel & Crematory with Masonic Rites being conducted at 7 p.m. Visitation will resume on Tuesday at the Farmington First Baptist Church from 9 a.m. until the time of the funeral at 10:30 a.m. officiated by church pastor Dr. William C. Miller. Interment with full military honors will be at Parkview Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations in his memory be made to the Farmington First Baptist Church Building Fund. Arrangements are under the care and direction of the Cozean Memorial Chapel & Crematory. View tribute video, share your memories and leave on-line condolences at cozeanfuneralhome.com.