Gary R. Cole Sr. died from a heart attack March 17, 2019, at his home. He was 77 years old.
Gary, also known as Jerry, was a free-spirited soul who called himself a hobo and a carnie riding the freight trains when he was young.
He remembered visiting the Papago reservation during one Christmas holiday in Arizona and always wanted to go back because they were so welcoming to him.
He loved his job in the vast uninhabited lands of Alaska searching for oil in the late ’60s. In Alaska he encountered a brown bear with his shotgun one day, but lived to tell the tale.
He enjoyed road trips and traveled all over North America, but still considered himself a southern Missouri Arkie.
He also taught his kids to stand up for themselves by attending many Morongo Unified School District superintendent meetings to plead for his Johnson Valley kids to choose to go to MUSD instead of LVSD.
His favorite song was “Imagine” by John Lennon, and he wished the Pledge of Allegiance’s “Justice for All” was truly attainable.
He was a California resident on and off for 65 years. He resided in Johnson Valley for 33 years.
The son of Henry Davis and Burness Broom, he was born Oct. 30, 1941, in Kennett, Missouri.
He worked for Offshore Navigation Inc. for five years and was a swap meet entrepreneur for 10 years while engaging in other odds and ends.
He was a member of the Johnson Valley Improvement Association.
Jerry loved watching TV and movies, off-road exploring the desert, fishing, camping, listening to oldies, road trips and recording memories with his still and video cameras.
He was preceded in death by his biological father, Henry Davis, of the same fate, his stepfather, Bill Fischer, his brother, Larry Davis, his mother, Burness Fischer, his sister Joanna Dodd, his beloved wife, Georgina Cole, and his brotherly cousin, Sonny Fox.
He is survived by sons Jerry and Billy, of Michigan, daughters Patricia and Cynthia and sons Gary Jr. and George, of California, and sister Linda, of Nevada.
He is also survived by seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
A private celebration of life will be held March 30 in Yucca Valley.
In lieu of flowers, please support our cousins’ family tragedy in Gary’s name at www.gofundme.com/ebwyp-bateman-family.