Gary Lee Cole

Gary Lee Cole, age 74, of Joliet, passed away peacefully, Wednesday, January 11, 2023 at home, with his loving family by his side.

Born June 5, 1948 in St. Paul, MN he was the son of the late Ford and Dorothy (Scherck) Cole.  His family moved to San Antonio, TX until Gary was 11 years old, when they moved to Joliet, and has remained here since.  He graduated from Joliet West High School with the Class of 1966, and began working for Uniroyal.  He then enlisted in the United States Air Force, serving four years from 1968 to 1972, and attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant. 

Upon his honorable discharge from the Air Force, he began a long and rewarding career with the United States Postal Service as a mail carrier and later as a Supervisor.  During retirement Gary started his own painting business where he was a busy and popular painter.

Gary will be remembered as a wonderful husband and a great father, grandfather and great-grandfather.  To say Gary was a hard-worker and always busy would be an understatement.  He was also a generous man who would give you the shirt off his back.  He will not soon be forgotten.

He enjoyed being a member of American Legion Post #1080, and when it came to sports, the only teams that mattered were the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Cubs.  Gary also loved playing cards with friends and family, especially euchre and Texas Hold’Em, and visiting the casino boat.

Surviving are his beloved wife of 55 years, Shelby (Carlson) Cole of Joliet; three loving children, Michele (Mario) Niesluchowski of Joliet, Heather (Armando) Gomez of Coal City, and Michael (Stephanie) Cole of Joliet; six adoring grandchildren, Michael (Katelyn) Cole, Brittani (Juan) Guerrero, Anthony (Madison) Smith, Jeffrey Smith, Jessica Cole and Laci Cole; two dear great-grandchildren, Christopher and Juan, Jr. Guerrero; one sister, Carol O’Neill; one brother, Craig (Sue) Cole; a sister-in-law, Jackie (Hank) Countryman; childhood best friend, Edward Koca; and several nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank everyone at Lightways Hospice who were terrific in caring for Gary and his family.  Their kindness will never be forgotten.

Services for Gary Cole will be held Wednesday, January 18, 2023 at 12:30 p.m., at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, 20953 W. Hoff Road, Elwood, IL 60421.  Military honors will be accorded by the United States Air Force and the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery Memorial Squad.  Family and friends are invited to meet at the cemetery at 12:15 p.m.

Fred C. Dames Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.  For more information, please call (815) 741-5500 or visit his Memorial Tribute at www.fredcdames.com