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William Joseph Cole
June 1, 1942 ~ May 26, 2023 (age 80) 80 Years Old
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William Joseph Cole was born June 1, 1942 and died May 26, 2023. As a little boy he would steal out of the family apartment in the dark early morning hours, buy coffee and food with money he earned collecting brass scraps, to secretly watch milkmen load up horse drawn wagons. He was raised in central Detroit, son of Charles Cole and Rose Charon; brother of Sandra, Wilma, Cathy and Chuck. Bill dropped out of high school during a time of tumultuous unrest within Detroit and joined the United States Navy from 1960-1964 where he rose to rank of Chief Petty Officer. While in the navy he discovered his life long love of physical fitness. Bill had an insatiable thirst for knowledge and learning. He obtained his GED from the military and later a BA in History. While attended Community College in Muskegon, Bill met his wife, Georgia Gerrans, who was drawn to his loud contagious laugh. They later moved back to Detroit where Bill attended Wayne State University Law School. He graduated with his Juris Doctors in 1970. Bill and Georgia moved their small family to Montague, Mi where he worked for Burr Cochran law firm and acted as City Attorney for the town of Whitehall. In 1977, Bill was appointed to the bench by Governor Milliken where he served as Judge for the District Court of Michigan for over 18 years. At the time he was the youngest appointed judge in Michigan’s history. Bill was hardworking and generous. As a young married man, he cherished the time he was able to spend with his little brother, Chuckie, who meant the world to him. With pride, he purchased for his parents, both their first car and home. Bill retired early and lived out dreams of ranching on a 300 acre cattle ranch in Arkansas. He also lived in Missouri where he raised goats he named after his grandchildren. He later moved to Grand Rapids, MI to be closer to his family. He loved antique shopping, garage sale hunting, discussing politics, baking experiments, never ending soup (just add more veggies) and shopping deals. He was a great gardener and artistic creator. He taught his children fair logical argument, the importance of honesty, the desire for learning, the beauty of the constellations and the magic of dreams. Bill was preceded in death by his father Charles, mother Rose, sister Sandra, twin sister Wilma, and his beautiful sons Michael and Andrew. He is survived by his wife Georgia (Alex) Kanoza, daughter Jacquelyn (Michael) Shollack, grandchildren Gerrick, Rachel, Alena, Andrew and great grandchildren Jayce, Mia, Lucas and Koda. We will miss his terrible jokes, political discussions, and scrabble competitions for the rest of our lives. Back to the earth you go. We welcome family and friends to a Celebration of Life gathering Tuesday, June 6, 2023 from noon until 3:00 pm at Egypt Valley Country Club, 7333 Knapp Street Srv Rd NE, Ada, MI 49301.