Don and Alice Cole 60th Anniversary
On May 8, Don and Alice Cole will have been married 60 years. They were married in Ocean Springs, Mississippi one day after Alice graduated from high school. She was 18, he was 22.
Over the years they lived in several places and Cole did several things before settling into his life-long career as a plumber.
Cole’s father had a plumbing business in Groves, Texas, Cole and Sons Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning. He worked there until 1958 when Cole and his family moved to Bridge City and started Cole Plumbing. Cole ran his business until 1988. His sons Wayne and Michael continued the business until they each decoded to branch out into businesses of their own, still plumbing related.
“All four of us kids worked in the business at one time. It was just something we all did as kids,” said Mary Alice Hartfield, Cole’s daughter “while we were all involved in the business Mother stayed home and kept things going there.”
Cole was very involved in the community for a long period of time. He served as a City Councilman for six years and as a County Commissioner for 12 years.
The Coles are members of St Henry’s Catholic Church in Bridge City and Cole has served the church in various capacities including a Eucharist Minister and an Usher. “They have always been active in the church,” said Hartfield.
“Daddy was always happy, he would sing in the morning, and Mother was happy too. We were always a close, happy family, “ said Hartfield.
The family closeness is illustrated by the gift of the four children to their mother on Mother’s Day, 2000. The Cole children, Wayne, Michael, Angela, and Mary Alice brought steaks and sleeping bags and “invaded” their parent’s house. They grilled steaks and had a good time laughing and remembering things of days gone by as they watched Cole’s old slide pictures of the family. The four children slept on the patio and then cooked breakfast the next morning. At lunch the rest of the family came for a Mother’s Day meal.
All four children agree that they were raised with much love and a lot of closeness. They are still close today, even though they have drifted apart in vocations. Wayne and Michael each have different plumbing businesses, Agnes works for a plumbing company in Mauriceville and Hartfield works in the Orange County tax office in the sub-courthouse in Vidor.
“Don Cole has been in every house in Bridge City,” said Roy Dunn. Dunn was making reference to how well known Cole is in Bridge City and how long he had been in business here.
“Daddy has done a tremendous amount of work for people at low cost or at times even no cost if they could not afford to pay.He was always helping someone. He also did a lot of work for the city on a cost only basis or at times they paid for materials and he furnished the labor,” said Hartfield “one funny story about Daddy’s time as a plumber is that he once asked a woman for apiece of bread. He was working and needed a piece of bread to absorb moisture in a piece of copper tubing he was going to solder. The woman thought he was hungry and fixed him a sandwich.”
Even though Cole was once recognized as the Citizen of the Year in Bridge City he has never sought recognition for any thing he has done. “He is just a very good man who has spent his life trying to help people. Mother was with him all the way. They are good parents and raised us with a lot of love,” said Hartfield.
The Cole children are giving their parents a 60th wedding reception at St. Henry’s Catholic Church on May 10 from 2 P.M. to 4 P.M.