Obituary Notices and Memorials

 
 

COLE, James A. (Spike)
COLE, James A. (Spike) Born July 12, 1942, in San Bernardino, Calif. Passed away January 29, 2012, peacefully at his home in Sonora, Calif. Spike lived in Leona Valley as a small child but spent most of his childhood and early adulthood in Lancaster, Calif. He graduated from Antelope Valley High School in 1959, playing on Antelopes football team all four years, then attended AV College where he played on the champion Marauder football team winning the Alfalfa Bowl that season. He joined the U.S. Army in 1961, and graduated from the Army Language School as a Russian linguist stationed in Germany until his honorable discharge in 1963. He returned to Lancaster where he worked at Al Kruegers gas station on Avenue I, and played semi-pro football with the Antelope Valley Sidewinders before beginning his career with the U.S. Postal Service in 1966. He lived in Lancaster until his promotion to Postmaster of the Lemoore, Calif., post office in 1979. While in Lancaster, he was co-owner with his brother, Eddie Cole, of the Delta Lady Saloon home of the infamous Rattlesnake Derby, was an umpire for Park View Little League, and participated in various activities with his three young daughters. After relocating to Lemoore, Calif., in 1979, he joined the Rotary Club, the Southern Baptist Church, and was a Lemoore High School Athletics Foundation supporter. He suffered a massive stroke in 1986, but continued to work for the U.S. Postal Service until he retired from the Vehicle Maintenance Facility in Bakersfield at the rank of a postmaster in 2000. He lived in Coalinga, Calif., near his family for the next 6 years, where he was well known for writing letters to the editors of local newspapers and state and federal government officials. He spent his final 6 years in Sonora, Calif., after he developed diabetes and end-stage renal disease which ultimately led to his death at age 69. He lived his life to its fullest. He spent time fishing, swimming, camping, and barbecuing. He also loved trains and went on many historic train rides throughout the U.S. He was preceded in death by his parents, Jim and Tillie Cole, brothers Mike and Eddie Cole, and daughter Melody Redwine. He is survived by his companion, Barbara Jennings of Sonora, sister Carol Cole-Freeman of Lakehead, Calif., daughters Julie Koozer and husband Fred and CJ Cole both of Sonora, granddaughters Lindsay Beutler of San Diego and Julie Redwine of Lemoore, grandsons Gage Cole and Jakob Koozer of Sonora, and great-granddaughter Melody Beutler of San Diego. He will also be sorely missed by his nieces and nephews, Olivia Sholund-Snell, Eddie Sholund, and Mike Sholund all of Washington, Eddie Cole of Oregon, and Amy Cole-Iorio of Riverside, Calif., and multitudes of friends and relatives. A Celebration of Life is being planned, but details are pending. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in tribute to Spikes memory to Railtown 1897 State Historic Park at https://www.railtown1897.org/railtown/donate_museum.asp

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