David J. Cole
Since 1961, David Cole has been a teacher, spending over 25 years with School District 131, in Aurora, Illinois, and also for half a year in Neponset, Illinois, and instructed and shaped the lives of many. On Wednesday, September 26, 2018, he taught his last lesson. David James Cole, 86, of Annawan, passed away at Hillcrest Home in Geneseo, Illinois. A Memorial Service will be held at 11 a.m. on November 3, 2018, at the Calvary Evangelical Church, in Hooppole, Illinois. Reverend Gene Baker will officiate. Inurnment will take place at 3:30 p.m. at Wheatland Cemetery in Wheatland Township, Illinois, following the services at the church. Visitation will be held from 10:00-11:00 a.m. prior to the Memorial service. Memorials may be directed to the Calvary Evangelical Church.
David was born on May 3, 1932, the son of John and Velma (Williams) Cole, in Flora, Illinois. In 1934, he and his family moved to Naperville, Illinois, where he graduated from Naperville High School in 1950. After spending two years as a baker, he joined the United States Navy, and served in the Pacific during the Korean War. After his honorable discharge, David returned to Naperville, where he attended North Central College. He graduated in 1961, with a degree in education. In 1960, he married Carol Lee Schrader, also of Naperville. Their children are; Sarah Cole, Andrew Cole, and twin sons, Michael and Timothy, who died shortly after birth.
David chose to teach in East Aurora School District 131. After several years teaching, he enrolled in Northern Illinois University, and earned his Master’s Degree in Outdoor Education in 1967. From that Outdoor Education Training, his sixth grade students at Mabel O’Donnell School enjoyed the imaginative experiences he led them through. Some of the lessons he taught to his students include: tapping sugar maple trees and making maple syrup, dying wool yarn with natural dyes and stitching large tapestries and discovering what bones could be found in owl pellets.
In 1976, David was selected as School District 131’s “Elementary School Teacher of the Year”. In 1990, he retired from teaching and moved to Annawan, Illinois with his wife, Carol Lee, where he practiced his other passions of growing garden vegetables and gourds, creating mobiles, hunting and fishing, and baking cookies to share with others. He also found time to participate in the activities of the Kiwanis Club, the Henry/Stark Counties Illinois Retired Teachers Association, and as a Henry County Board Member of the American Red Cross, the American Legion Post 0724 in Atkinson, the VFW Post 7176 in Annawan, Henry County Farm Bureau, and, for a time, David taught Sunday School at Calvary E. C. Church in Hooppole, Illinois. David also helped coordinate the Hooppole Friendly Citizens lunch group.
In later years, David could be found on Saturday mornings at the Geneseo Farmer’s Market, selling his home-ground-whole wheat, baked zucchini bread. In 2016, he suffered a stroke, which placed him in Hillcrest Home. It is the hope of David’s family and friends that he has been a good influence on many lives and will be remembered as a caring person.
Those left to cherish his memory include his wife, Carol Lee, daughter, Sarah Cole, of North Aurora, and son, Andrew (Megumi Karmata) Cole, of Manassas Park, VA. David was preceded in death by his parents, John and Velma, twin sons, Michael and Timothy Cole, brother, Phillip, and sister, Marion.