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Cole, Julia "Ruth" Richards

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November 11, 1923 - July 12, 2013

Cole, Julia "Ruth" Richards

Julia Ruth Richards Cole, 89, beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, passed away peacefully on July 12, 2013 in Plano, Texas surrounded by her family.  She was born on November 11, 1923 to Oliver Mark and Gertrude Hocking Richards in Cortland, Ohio, the youngest of 5 children. She graduated from Cortland High School in 1941 and received a Kindergarten-Primary degree from Oberlin College in 1945.  She married her high school sweetheart, Charles Edward Cole, on October 21, 1945. They lived in Woodstock, Illinois for several years before returning to Warren, Ohio to live and raise their family of four children.

She taught elementary school for 25 years both in Oberlin, Ohio and as a second grade teacher in Howland Township, Ohio, retiring in 1980. She moved with her husband to Bonita Springs, Florida in 1984 and after 15 wonderful years of beaches and sunsets moved to Plano, Texas in 1999.

She is survived by her four children, E. Christine Cole Gates (Richard) of Plano, Texas; Mark A. Cole (Barbara) of Warren, Ohio; Melinda Cole Heim (Michael) of Zionsville, Indiana; Kevin R. Cole (Lisa) of Covington, Virginia; a brother Walter H. Richards of Estes Park, Colorado; nine  grandchildren, Todd Gates (Becky), Lauren Cole Simmers (Dave), Amanda Cole Stredney (Ryan), Tyler Gates (Elizabeth), Heather Cole, Jay Heim, Jessica Cole, Katie Heim, and Alex Cole; and four great granddaughters, Lillia, Erin, and Halle Gates (Todd ) and Julia Gates (Tyler).

She is predeceased by her husband of 55 years, two brothers, Richard Richards (Julia) and Nelson F. Richards (Helen), and a sister, Barbara Richards Fishel (Leslie).

She loved to cook and knit, was an avid bird watcher, naturalist, and educator. Her greatest joys were spending time with her growing family, teaching her grandchildren to bake cookies and sneaking table scraps to the family pets.  Ever giving, always loving, and the consummate nurturer, she leaves a wonderful legacy of warmth to those she touched.

A private memorial service will be held at Hillside Cemetery in Cortland, Ohio at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her honor to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida,  1450 Merrihue Drive, Naples, Florida 34102 (

Arrangements are under the direction of ARIA Cremation Service and Funeral Home 19310 Preston Road, Dallas, Texas 75252, 214-306-6700.

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Lola at Kohls

July 22, 2013 7:25PM

Mrs. Cole always had a great attitude, great smile, and kind words. First made connection with Mrs. Cole because I too have a daughter named Christine and Mom's name was Ruth. I will personally miss this wonderful lady. Our prayers are with the family.

Howland Schools Retired Personnel

July 21, 2013 3:21PM

Howland Schools Retired Personnel extends sincere condolences to Ruth's family at her passing. Many in our group taught or worked in other positions at the building where she taught and remember her well. We know she enjoyed her retirement years in Florida and then in Texas.