William M. Cole, age 95, died April 5, 2022 at Bethany Home in Lindsborg, KS. Mr. Cole was born November 27, 1926 in Barnard, MO and had been a Salina resident since 1932. Bill had been Chairman of the Board and President of Planters State Bank and Trust Company. He was a Past Presidents of the Coronado Council of Boy Scouts of America, Salina Downtown Lions Club, Salina Municipal Band, Credit Bureau of Salina, and Salina Civic Music Association.
Bill was an Air Force Veteran of World War II. He was a graduate of the University of Kansas, University of Wisconsin, and University of Oklahoma’s School of Banking. He was a member of the Salina Masonic Lodge, a 33rd degree Scottish Rite Mason, York Rite, Red Cross of Constantine and Royal Order of Jesters, and was a Past Potentate of Isis Shrine Temple.
When Bill wasn’t working, he was fishing. When he wasn’t fishing, he was puttering around the yard in one of his infamous jumpsuits, probably puffing on his pipe. If you were lucky, you enjoyed one of his amazing trumpet solos. As a child, “Billy” wanted to become a professional trumpet player, but his father convinced him there was no money in that endeavor, so he should go into banking. He did, but he never gave up his love of music, playing in different bands or as a guest player. Well into his 90s, he continued wowing his audience at Bethany Home with his musical talent.
Bill was also one of the most frugal men in town. Growing up as a child of the depression, nothing went to waste. He once accompanied his beloved wife, Evelyn, on a regional tour of six baseball fields, not because he liked or even enjoyed baseball, but because he could get her a better deal on the tickets if he went with her. The man also liked to duct tape everything, including his shoes. One area he didn’t skimp on was his love for his family. Like the Velveteen Rabbit, he gave love and was well loved in return.
Bill was preceded in death by his wife, Evelyn A. (Knapp) Cole, and two infant sons.
Survivors include a son, Gregory Cole (Cheryl), of Salina, daughters Barbara Nitz (Rodney) of Lawrence, and Deborah Richter (Douglas) of Assaria, seven grandchildren (Will Cole, Jeff Cole, Benton Bates, Noah Rodenbeek, Cole Rodenbeek, Alexandria Keith, and Caitlin Sidener), and fourteen great grandchildren.
The memorial service will be at Ryan Mortuary, 137 N. 8th Street, on Monday, April 18th at 10:00 a.m. Private burial will be in Roselawn Memorial Park, Salina.
Memorials may be made to Kindred Hospice, 2100 S 9th St G, Salina, KS 67401.
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