Cover photo for Larry James Cole's Obituary
Larry James Cole Profile Photo
1940 Larry 2023

Larry James Cole

November 3, 1940 — July 9, 2023

Vicksburg, MI


Larry James Cole passed away peacefully Sunday morning July 09,2023 at the age of 82, at Rose Arbor in Kalamazoo. Larry was born in Schoolcraft, MI, on November 03, 1940. He was the son of Curtis and Mary (Sisson) Cole.  He had two younger sisters, Gay Lynn Willis, and Nancy Speece-Miller. Larry played basketball on three varsity teams, winning three Districts and one Regional. He graduated from Schoolcraft High School with the Class of 1958.


He married Mary Tobin from Three Rivers, Michigan in 1960. Together they had three children: Dawnn (Dean) Cole Decker; Michele (Robert) Cole Johnson; Curtis (Maxine Belino) Cole; 11 grandchildren and three great grandchildren with a fourth one on the way.


Larry graduated from Western Michigan University in 1962 with BA in Biology, Geography, and P.E. He then taught at Rogers High School in Wyoming MI, from 1962-1966. Larry then went on to complete his Master’s Degree from Michigan State University in 1966, after which he returned to his hometown of Schoolcraft, where he became the Junior and Senior High School Principal from 1966-1969. He then became the Superintendent from 1969- 1975. He completed another degree from WMU in 1974 as an Education Specialist.


The family moved to Vicksburg in1975 where he served as Superintendent of Vicksburg Community Schools from 1975-1979 and again from 1984-1994, after which he retired. He was happily retired with his wife Mary of 62 years along with their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Along with his career in education, Larry was also a realtor and a real estate developer. He was a life member of the Schoolcraft Masonic Lodge 118, and the Vicksburg Rotary. In his spare-time Larry loved to play golf. He would often book golfing into his family vacations. He even once had a hole-in-one. In the fall of 2022, Larry Cole was inducted into the Schoolcraft High School Hall of Fame.   


Above all else, Larry loved his family and spending time with them on vacations and enjoying many family centered activities. He will be remembered by his family as charismatic, having a great sense of humor, determined, and a leader.


There will be a private service, with the burial taking place at Schoolcraft Cemetery.


While at please take time to sign Larry’s guestbook and/or share your favorite memory with the family. Those who wish may make contributions to the Vicksburg Community Schools Foundation.


The Cole family is being cared for by the Avink, McCowen & Secord Funeral Homes, 409 South Main, Vicksburg, MI 49097 (269) 649-1697.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Larry James Cole, please visit our flower store.


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