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Thomas Carrel Cole


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Thomas Carrel Cole died on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 in San Rafael, California after a brief illness. Tom lived a life of service to others. He was a private man with a calming presence, who felt great responsibility for the wellbeing of those close to him. As his life progressed, that came to include not only his family but his friends, neighbors, and many others in his community.

Tom graduated from Decatur High School in Decatur, Indiana in 1952. After the death of his father that same year, he put aside his plans to go away to college and instead attended a local school so he could remain close and care for his mother. He graduated from the International College in Fort Wayne in 1953 and in 1955 began working for Central Soya Corporation as a junior accountant. Tom dedicated his career to Central Soya, helping to steer the corporation through technological advancements and market changes spanning 34 years. After holding management positions in data processing, auditing and accounting, he was elected in 1982 to the position of Controller and Assistant Secretary.

Tom was born in July 1934 in Decatur, Indiana. He was the oldest of two children in the family of Carrell and Jesteen Cole. His sister Kathleen survives him, along with his niece Kristi Perry and his nephews Scott Gattshall and Eric Coeur.

After retiring in 1989, Tom moved with his mother to Roswell, New Mexico. Tom was an active member of the First United Methodist Church, and enjoyed his role as a greeter at Sunday services. He was also a benefactor to the local Cowboy Bell College Fund and volunteered tirelessly for many years in multiple retirement homes in Roswell.

Tom was a big fan of Blue Grass music. He often travelled to Blue Grass concerts in his younger years, and he cherished the live recordings he kept. Tom was also an avid model train collector. This passion began at an early age and spurred an interest in the American West. He travelled west several times during his career before settling in New Mexico after retirement.

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Tom lived modestly and gave generously. He was a man of few words but he never disappointed when he did share his thoughts. He knew people, more than most people knew him. He did not make idle talk and was more comfortable with silence than most. He strove to “keep things simple and un-fluttered”. Always unassuming, preferring to stay out of the spotlight, Tom made an indelible mark on many of our lives.

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