GARRATTSVILLE — Emerson L. (Sonny) Cole, 65, of Garrattsville, died Tuesday, Feb. 16, 1999, at the Veterans Hospital in Albany.
Emerson L. Cole
He was born Oct. 27, 1933, in Garrattsville, the son of Emerson C. and Bernice A. (Barton) Cole.
He graduated from Morris Central School, Class of 1952.
He was married to Anna C. Livesey on Aug. 2, 1953. He was married to her for 19 years.
He enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1952, and completed his specialized Air Training command at the Francis E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming. While in the Air Force he served in the Korean conflict and was injured in an airplane crash on the island of Hokkdido, Japan, resulting in a lifelong disability. After release from the active duty, Sonny returned to his hometown to build a home in Welcome Center for his family.
He worked for Raymond Corporation in Morris as a welder and for Austin Thompson Trucking in Mount Vision, as a driver before opening his own trucking business, E.L. Cole Trucking in the 1960s. He also ran a local milk route for farmers shipping canned milk and drove a mail truck for the U.S. Postal Service.
He was a 4-H leader for many years in Otsego County and a member of the United Methodist Church of Garrattsville and the Garrattsville Volunteer Fire Department.
Sonny enjoyed the outdoors and exercising his creative talents. In recent years he spent his days hunting, gardening and building outdoor furniture and other novelty items. His compassion and concern for others kept him busy. He always there to lend a helping hand and was fondly known by his family, friends and neighbors as "the Mayor of Welcome." An all-American boy, Emerson maintained his allegiance to his country and flag through memberships in local chapters and military organizations. He was a member and officer of the American Legion post 1567 of Hartwick and a life member of the V.F.W. post 1417 of Morris and the DAV chapter No. 159.
He is survived by his mother, Bernice Butler of Apopka, Fla.; a son, George (Buster) Cole and his wife, Sun, of Cocoa Beach, Fla.; three daughters, Melody Cole of South New Berlin, Annette L. Guinn and her husband, Timothy, of Norwich and Tammie Collins and her husband, Richard, of New Hartford; his dear sister and confidant, Doris Martin and her husband, Bill, of West Laurens; sisters, Elizabeth William of Apopka, Fla., and Zaida Welden of Richfield Springs; a paternal uncle, Harold Cole and his wife, Alice, of Old Forge; a maternal uncle, Leroy Barton of Salisbury Center; his grandchildren, Michelle and Thomas Cole, Rachel Pigg, Jason Geywits, Hope Berberick, Amy Winton, Tiffany, Tim Jr., Shawna and Jackie Guinn and E. Bryan and Christine Salie; and a great-grandson, Hunter Geywits; many nieces and nephews; and a special niece, Renee Weaver; and his canine companion, Sonya.
He was predeceased by his father, Emerson C. Cole, who died in 1981.
Funeral services will be held Sunday, Feb. 21, 1999, at 2 p.m. at the Johnston Funeral Home in Morris with the Rev. William Highfield officiating. Calling hours will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday and from noon till service time on Sunday. Burial and military honors will be in the spring at the Bennett Cemetery in West Laurens.
Those who wish are asked to donate to the Garrattsville Methodist Church or the Hartwick American Legion or the Garrattsville Fire Department in his memory.
Funeral arrangements are by the Johnston Funeral Home of Morris.
Published in The Daily Star on Feb. 19, 1999.