Roland Anthony Cole passed away suddenly on the morning of April 3, 2021 from complications of diverticulitis at the age of 59.
Roland was born on March 27, 1962 at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah to proud parents Melva Messerly and Ronald Cole. He married Michelle Elzingre (divorced). Later married Julie Timothy.
Roland lived in Salt Lake City with his mother until, at the age of 10 as they made their home in San Jose, California. They would return to Salt Lake City each year to spend time with his Grandma and Grandpa Messerly. His grandpa was his mentor and hero and time spent with Roland, or “Tiger”, as his grandpa nicknamed him, was golden for both of them. After graduation from high school, Roland joined the United States Marine Corp. He served proudly and honorably for 10 years, earning many decorations. He was a member of the Blacksheep Squadron and served tours of duty in the Philippines, Japan, Okinawa, and Korea just to name a few. He later spent time in the Marine Aircraft Group and as a recruiter in Salt Lake City. The friendships he developed with his fellow Marines was a gift he never took for granted. He treasured them all. He held true to the saying “Once a Marine always a Marine”. After his honorable discharge from the Marines, Roland worked for McDonald Douglas and Boeing in the Reno, Nevada area. He moved to Southwest Airlines as an Airline Maintenance Technician and remained with that company until he retired.
Roland followed a dream and moved to Star Valley, Wyoming and set up residency in the town of Auburn. He finally could fully enjoy the outdoors as he had wanted for so long. He took pride in the horses he owned and was happiest when he had time to ride, especially on JC, his favorite horse. It was a particular joy for him to share his love of horses with his daughter, Jessica.
Many of his friends and especially his Salt Lake City cousins took advantage of Roland’s location and made yearly trips to Afton to enjoy fishing weeks with Roland as their guide. The last three years were very meaniful as he was united with his brother Ken whom he thought he would never know. Their bond was immediate and strengthened quickly.
As family and friends, we feel such a void in his passing but there is also gratitude for having him in our lives.
“They whom we love and lose are no longer where they were before. They are now wherever we are.”
Roland is survived by his wife Julie, daughter Jessica (Cole) Bailey, father Ronald (Patricia) Cole, brothers Ken (Nancy) Rowley, Johnny Cole, Nathan Cole, sister Jacqueline Matthews, Aunt Linda (Dan) Woodhead, Uncle Gary Cole, grandchildren Sarah, Hunter. Preceded in death by his mother and grandparents.
Graveside services will be held on Friday, April 16, 202 at the Salt Lake City Cemetery, 200 N Street in Salt Lake City, beginning at Noon. A public viewing will be held prior to the graveside at Larkin Mortuary, 260 E. South Temple in Salt Lake City from 10:30 to 11:30. Masks and social distancing will be required while at the services.
Those wishing to attend the graveside services virtually may do so through the live Zoom stream with a link provided above.