James “Duke” Cole passed away of metastatic cancer of the spine on Thursday, April 23, 2020 in his home in Virginia Beach, VA surrounded by his loving family. Duke was born on September 16, 1953 in Prosperity, PA to parents James H Cole and Catherine Taylor Cole, and was the eldest son of eight children.
Duke’s parents, James H Cole, Catherine Taylor Cole, and his sisters, Carol Engle and Mary Weaver passed on before him. Duke leaves behind his siblings Linda Ramey, Faye Hoffoss, John Cole, Ida Bryner, and Chuck Cole, as well as multiple cousins, nieces and nephews.
Duke was a member at both Rock Church and Trinity Church of Virginia Beach when he went home to be with the Lord. In the past, he had also been a member of Kings Grant Baptist Church and Atlantic Shores Baptist Church. He loved serving in jail ministries, Recovery for Life, listening to music, playing guitar, baseball, and going on vacations to the beach and Disney World with his family. He began serving in jail ministry in 1980, starting in Norfolk, VA, then in Virginia Beach, and finally in Chesapeake City Jail all the way until his passing.
Duke and his wife, Nancy were married on June 30, 1973 in Washington, PA and moved to Virginia Beach, VA in 1974. They were blessed with three children: Charity Katherine “Katie” Cole (married to Rob Pippen) of Chesapeake, VA, Amanda Joy “Mandy” Rantz (married to Alex Rantz) of Charlotte, NC, and Isaac James Cole of Charlotte, NC. They were also blessed with two grandchildren, Kadence Alexis Cole of Chesapeake, VA and Claire Evie Rantz of Charlotte, NC.
Due to current circumstances, the family does not have a viewing or funeral planned, but Lord willing, will hopefully hold a memorial service in September in celebration of his birthday. If we had been able to hold a viewing and funeral, Duke wanted his Bible laid open on his chest to 2 Corinthians 5:1-3 just as his uncle Bill had: “For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies.”