Lt. Col. Floyd Cole, 91, passed away Tuesday, July 26, 2022. Funeral services will be held 2 p.m, Saturday, Aug. 6, at Hillcrest Funeral Home. Burial will follow at Hazel Cemetery in Bell Buckle. Visitation will begin at 1 p.m.
“Cole”, as he was known to family and friends, was born in Bruceton on Sept. 18, 1930. Times were hard and work was difficult for his father to find, and since his mother had health issues (she would later pass away when he was 13), Cole spent most of his formative years living with relatives, mostly with his paternal grandparents on their farm raising cotton.
He was deeply influenced by his grandfather’s interest in world events and greatly enjoyed their visits to the local courthouse to observe trials being held. As a young teenager, Cole moved to an apartment above his aunt’s cafe, where he worked long hours to support himself while also attending high school.
In his junior year of high school, Cole enlisted in the Navy, where he earned his high school diploma, served on an aircraft carrier and a submarine, and went on to become what was known at the time as a Frogman, now referred to as a Navy SEAL with the Navy’s Underwater Demolition Team. During this time, the Korean War erupted and he along with his team, were assigned to reconnaissance missions along the coast of Korea.
In his early 20’s Cole was honorably discharged from the Navy. By this time, he had seen more of the United States and the world than most of the residents of his hometown, but he wasn’t through yet. With his G.I. Bill, he decided to attend the University of Tennessee and earn his undergraduate and law degrees. During the summertime, he traveled and worked in various states.
While in college, he met and married Mary Farris Drake of Old Hickory. They were married for 65 years and had three daughters. After receiving his Doctor of Jurisprudence, Cole went into private practice at a law firm in Harriman. His desire to see more of the world got the better of him, though, and at the age of 30 he joined the Air Force and was assigned as a JAG officer, serving at multiple bases located in the United States, overseas and at a NATO installation in Norway. After his retirement in Austin, Texas, he contined to travel as a Circuit Court judge for the Texas Youth Commission before officially retiring and returning to Tennessee.
Cole was preceded in death by his loving wife, Mary; he is survived by his daughters, Karen Warne of Riverside, California, Laura (Channy) Soeur and Ellen (Bill) Anton, both of Leander, Texas; his sisters, Shirley French of Dover and Gloria Littleton of Harriman; his grandchildren, Daniel Johnson, Jaime Johnson, Lauren Hearons, Katie Dillon, Kellyn Warne, Michelle
Dahlstrom, Adam Soeur, Jack Anton, Caroline Anton; his great-grandchildren, Sera Alban, Brooke Dillon, Kenley Dillon, Mila Dahlstrom, Garrison Hearons, Gregory Hearons and Josette Menchaca-Warne, as well as numerous nephews and nieces.