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Cole, John R.

Cole, John R.

August 24, 1931 — July 7, 2022

John Russell Cole entered this world on August 24th 1931 in Platte County, Missouri in a house located on the property that is currently the KCl Airport. He was the youngest of three children bom to George Russell and Lucy Cole. John died peacefully at home on July 7th, 2022, surrounded by his loved ones. John was preceded in death by his wife, Patricia Cole, both of his parents and his two sisters, Mary and Alice. He leaves behind 4 children, Russell Cole (Star), Cindy Leibinger (Jay), Sandy Adams (Robert), and Randy Cole (Barbie), 11 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.

As a young boy the family moved to a farm on the outskirts of Liberty where he loved to hunt and trap. He would run his trap lines before leaving for school each moming and soon saved enough money to buy his first bicycle. In his words, "he must have put a million miles on that bike." John often told the story of trapping a skunk and getting sprayed before school. Needless to say, he was promptly sent home.

When John was 18, he was invited to a chili supper, where he was to meet up with a girl that was supposed to be there. But, when that did not work out, he decided it was time to leave. As he backed out and started down the street, he thought to himself, "Wait a minute, there was another girl there that was mighty cute." Well, John turned that car around and went back. This was a life changing decision, for 1 year later, he asked Patricia McClement to marry him.

John and Pat were married on September 17th 1950. In 1954 they built their first home in Liberty just south of the old High School. John and Pat designed and physically built their home together with their own hands. Soon after, they welcomed 4 children, Russell, twin girls, Cindy and Sandy, and their youngest, Randy. As the children grew, they decided it was time to move a little further out of town where there was more room to run and play. John would work all day at the mill then go out and work on building their second house. This is where they raised their children and called home for nearly 60 years. As devoted and loving parents, John and Pat never missed any of the boys' baseball games, the girls' softball games, or band and choir performances.

John was a hard worker. He went to work at 15, mixing mortar and doing carpentry work for Leo Adams until 1955, at which time he went to Desert Gold Feed Mill and worked as a Millwright until 1972. Frank Miller, a childhood friend, called him up and offered him a job in his company, Midland Energy Corporation. John worked for Frank performing many duties as a carpenter, plumber, heating and cooling installer and technician until after Frank passed away. At age 60, John went to work for William Jewell College in the maintenance and plumbing department until he retired at 70 years old.

John and Pat loved to go to all the local country music shows every chance they got and enjoyed traveling to California to visit Randy and his family.

John took great pride in designing and building custom grandfather clocks from rough sawn walnut. He even built his own wood shaping machine in order to make the intricate walnut trim. He made one for himself, one for each of his sons, and sold others.

Family dinners and barbecues were always a highlight, where he enjoyed playing badminton, croquet, and bocci ball...if there was homemade vanilla ice cream, that was a plus! His favorite way to spend a Friday or Saturday evening was playing cards and dominoes with family or friends.

John enjoyed solving problems, be it building something or simply doing a puzzle book. If we were to name everything he designed and built, we would still be here tomorrow. As a blue bird enthusiast, one of the things he built was a bluebird house...more like bluebird hotel, equipped with cameras and heaters in case the first hatching started early and the nights were too cool.

Something that meant the world to John was the friendship he shared with his neighbors, Jose and Linda Rodriguez and Don and Pat Moon. Even after moving nearly 2 years ago due to declining health, John cherished the times Jose would pick him up and take him out for a drive and ice cream or come to the house to visit. They were true friends. John also enjoyed reminiscing about old farming stories with Joel Walker when he came to visit. They went way back to 1960 and had many memories to relive.

If you were to ask family and friends to describe John, here are the words you would hear, hard worker, practical, honest, man of integrity, ethical, innovative, and a mechanical genius.

Something John instilled in all his children was, "If a job is worth doing, it's worth doing it right the first time." So, dad, we kids say to you, "You did it right!"

Visitation will begin at 10:00 am, followed by a service celebrating John's life at 11:00 am, on Tuesday, July 12, 2022, at Park Lawn Northland Chapel, 1-35 at State Route 291, Liberty, MO. Burial will follow in Glenridge Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care or to the Alzheimer's Association.

Service Information

Visitation will begin at 10:00 am, followed by a service celebrating John’s life at 11:00 am, on Tuesday, July 12, 2022, at Park Lawn Northland Chapel, 1-35 at State Route 291, Liberty, MO. Burial will follow in Glenridge Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care or to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Cole, John R.'s Guestbook

John was my best friend's (Randy) father, I knew him when I was young kid with a head full of mush. I worked with John as part of Frank Miller's operation, and my father also worked with John at Desert Gold much earlier. Everyone agrees, John was one of the hardest working people you will ever meet. He was the quintessential Answer Man. One thing John said that always stuck with me was "keep busy, do something even if its wrong, keep moving". John practiced what he preached- he never stood still, and walked with determination- he never let minor obstacles get in the way. I learned so many practical things from John, that I use even today- plumbing, carpentry, electrical, engines- John was so talented, and humble. After a long hot summer day of work, I would see John resting in his reclining chair with a handbook on air conditioning- he never wasted a moment. I am in debt to him. I pray that John has found everlasting peace.

J.D. (David) Tate

Thank you for being my dad and my very best friend. I started missing you before you were gone but you are never really gone you're forever in my heart. I love you always.


Daddy, you will be in our hearts forever. We will see you again. Love you

Robert and Sandy Adams

Goodbye to a role model of many trades. From teaching me to make home made ice cream to shower me how to put small details in wood work. You will be missed grampa.

Joel Shellbie Ryker Karmendy Anderson

John, the life you lived was a journey you can be proud to call yours. It was our privilege to have you in our home until the end. The house already feels so empty without you but our hearts are anything but empty. Our hearts overflow with love and all the good memories. Rest well dear one. I'm confident we will see you soon in the resurrection where you can enjoy your family and blue birds to the full.


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