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James "Jim" William Cole

May 11, 2021

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A celebration of the life of Jim Cole will be held at the cabin at Harmon Field in Sunday, July 11,2021 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Jim was a resident of Tryon, spending nearly every day running or walking the ttrails at Harmon Field with his wife, Elaine.  It seemed appropriate to celebrate his good life in that place and to invite all who knew and loved him to join together in joyful spirit.  Jim died on May 11, 2021 surrounded by family and friends and surrounded with much love.

Jim was a person of deep faith.  He and Elaine studied God's word and prayed together daily.  Jim was a faithful caring member of Tryon United Methodist Church.  Tryon, UMC's pastor, Reverend Lynnette Sills, will offer words of thanks for his life and praise to the Creator of all that id good during the celebration of life gathering.

Jim's Full Obituary 

Tryon, NC--James “Jim” Cole, of Tryon, North Carolina, died peacefully on the 11th of May due to a rapid deterioration in his health. He spent his final days in ICU at Pardee Hospital, where he received skillful and humane care right to the end.

He is survived by Elaine, his wife of 42 years and partner in his business, his mother Virginia, his step-mother Josephine Cole, his children Michael, Suzanne and Bill, and six grandchildren and seven great grandchildren and his brother Steven.

Jim was born on Long Island on the 15th of November 1944, while his father William was a lieutenant on an oil tanker, carrying out dangerous missions taking fuel across the Atlantic. After the War, the family moved to Memphis, where his father worked in the Armored Motor Service, the beginning of a lifelong career which saw him rise to a senior position in Wells Fargo.

His brother Steven was born in 1948, and in 1953 their mother Virginia married Lewis M. Davis, a widowed dentist in Winchester, Indiana, and Jim grew up in that small town. He always gave credit to his step-dad for taking on two little boys and loving them like his own. In fact, Jim did prove to be a bit of a challenge, especially during his teenage years. Though he was top of his class in Math, his teachers reported that he didn’t make much effort in his other subjects. Instead, he found a love for cars, and spent countless hours with his pals tinkering with old wrecks. He bought his first car, a Ford, for $50, and though it broke down on the way home, he managed to keep it going for several years, and painted its wheels in quarters of pale blue and white to give it a distinctive personality around town.

His eventual success in his own business teaches us that we should let our children follow their passions, and not worry too much about what they don’t want to do. Still, a young man must have discipline, and after graduation Jim got just what he needed by serving in the US Navy for 2 years. His mother said that though he had always been a messy kid, when he returned home on leave, he ironed his clothes and stored them carefully in his tidy room. Also, during those years of service, his natural abilities were put to use, as he learned to apply his mathematical aptitude and refine his mechanical skills by training to become an electrical engineer on an aircraft carrier.

When he left the Navy, Jim went to work on an hourly wage for a firm that swapped radios and CB radios when customers wanted a dealer to replace the one that arrived in the car. Jim was a lateral thinker, and he had the vision to see his first business opportunity: he persuaded dealers to order cars without radios, and he set up a company to install whatever the costumer wanted, cheaper than the ones that came from the manufacturers, and Jim split the savings with the dealer. Dealer Profit Systems was born, and since then DPS, based in Tampa and now run by his sons Bill and Michael, has grown to be a major supplier of all sorts of products to dealerships throughout the Southeast, though his detailing division has never been asked to supply quartered wheels like the ones he put on his old Ford.

Jim enjoyed his life to the full, whether he was meeting the car dealers who became as much his friends as his customers, or tarpon fishing, watching NASCAR, travelling (especially to his beloved St. Barth’s), keeping fit (he ran 6 miles with Elaine most days before breakfast), or feeding the birds (and too often the bears) which visited his garden.

Jim valued family, friends and church above all else, and on his last day on this earth, Lynnette Sills, his Minister, said a prayer and read from the Scriptures at his bedside, witnessed by his wife, his three children, and his brother.

A Celebration of Life will be held later this year in North Carolina and in Tampa.

Instead of flowers, donations can be sent to the United Methodist Church, 195 New Market Road, Tryon, N.C., 28782.

To send flowers to James "Jim" William Cole's family, please visit our floral store.


Celebration of Life
July 11, 2021

2:00 PM
Harmon Field
117 Harmon Field Rd
Tryon, NC 28782
Guaranteed delivery before the Celebration of Life begins

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