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DALLAS 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 Nov. 11, 1923, to Oliver Mark and Gertrude Hocking Richards in Cortland, the youngest of five 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 Oct. 21, 1945. They lived in Woodstock, Ill., for several years before returning to Warren to live and raise their family of four children. She spent 25 years as an elementary school teacher, in Oberlin and Howland Township, retiring in 1980. She moved with her husband to Bonita Springs, Fla., in 1984 and after 15 wonderful years of beaches and sunsets moved to Plano in 1999.
She is survived by her four children, E. Christine Cole Gates (Rick) of Plano, Mark A. Cole (Barb) of Warren, Melinda Cole Heim (Michael) of Zionsville, Ind., Kevin R. Cole (Lisa) of Covington, Va.; and a brother, Walter H. Richards of Estes Park, Colo.
She was predeceased by her husband of 55 years; two brothers, Richard Richards and Nelson F. Richards; and a sister, Barbara Fishel.
She loved to cook and knit, was an avid bird watcher, naturalist, and educator. Her greatest joys were spending time with her family, teaching her grandchildren to bake cookies and sneaking table scraps to their 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, 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, FL 34102 (conservancy.org).
Please visit www.ariacremation.com to send family condolences.