Lloyd E. Cole, Jr., was born July 12,1928, in Crestline, KS, to Lloyd E. Cole Sr. and Prudence (Prue) Sears Cole. Lloyd died in Fayetteville, AR, at the age of 91.
Lloyd was preceded in death by both his natural parents, his stepmother Sarah Cole, his stepfather Oscar Rupe, his first wife Pat, and his brother Jerry Cole.
Lloyd married Patty L. “Pat” Swango January 11,1951, and they had two children, Sherrie and Karen. After Pat’s death, on September 28,1996, Lloyd married Melissa Panter Hill and was the stepfather to Clay Hill and Cole Hill. Lloyd’s own description, “Boys are a whole different ballgame!”
Family members honoring Lloyd’s memory and legacy are his wife, Melissa; daughter Karen Timbrook; daughter Sherrie Hess and husband Phillip; stepsons Clay Hill and Cole Hill; adult grandchildren Jeremy Hess and wife Stephanie, Landon Hess and Kelsey Hess and fiancé Russell Blevins; minor grandchildren, Brayden Cooper, Dalton Hill, Kaden Hill, Cash Hill, and Ella Rose Hill, to whom he is “Papa, The Candy Man”; and great-grandchildren Audrey Hess and Adelynn Hess.
Lloyd grew up in North Miami, OK, graduating from Commerce High School in Commerce, OK, where he and his brother Jerry were classmates with Mickey Mantle. Lloyd acquired an associate degree at then Northeastern Oklahoma A&M (now NEO), in 1947, and his law degree from the University of Oklahoma in January 1951. Less than a month later, he was drafted into the U.S. Army at the time of the Korean War but was fortunate to spend his two years as a legal clerk in the 47th infantry division assisting in the judge advocate’s office and in teaching the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Upon discharge from the Army in 1953, Lloyd and Pat moved to Stilwell. Adair County and Stilwell quickly became “home” and dear to Lloyd’s heart. "I became a practicing attorney in Stilwell on March 19,1953, making my first trip to our Adair County Courthouse and trying my first case here at that time.” The year 1955 was the beginning of an outstanding career for Lloyd. In 1955, he bought a local law practice and has served Adair County and Stilwell in many capacities. Some of the areas of his local service and affiliations include: Stilwell City Attorney, Westville City Attorney, Adair County Attorney, Adair County Assistant District Attorney, Stilwell Municipal Judge, Stilwell School Board Attorney, Stilwell Area Development Authority Attorney, Westville Utility Authority Attorney, Adair County Industrial Authority, Northeast Oklahoma Public Facilities Authority, Adair County Bar Association, Cherokee Nation Bar Association, and counsel for the Cherokee Nation Election Commission.
Lloyd was a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association since 1951 and held a number of positions including the Administrative Board, now the Executive Council, as well as several chairmanships. He was one of the original founders of the Oklahoma Bar Foundation responsible for building the Oklahoma Bar Center in Oklahoma City.
Lloyd was registered with the Oklahoma Supreme Court, several trial and appellate courts and the Cherokee Nation Judicial Tribunal Court, as well as the American College of Trusts and Estates, and was a member of the distinguished Oklahoma Fellows of The American Bar Association. One of Lloyd’s Supreme Court experiences was serving on a panel of three lawyers on appellate cases for five+ years, a period when the Oklahoma Supreme Court had an overload of cases, writing and submitting opinions to be adopted by the Court.
An interesting civil case here in Adair County once landed Lloyd a Wall Street Journal interview and article It was an anti-trust case of great interest to the Wall Street Journal at that time. Lloyd said, “The reporter wanted to know why the Department of Justice had come down on a rural town. They ran a front-page story on the case.” It stands as a landmark case.
In 2003, then House Speaker Larry E. Adair appointed Lloyd to a five-year term on the Council on Judicial Complaints, after which Governor Brad Henry declared October 1, 2008, as Lloyd E. Cole, Jr., Day in Oklahoma, in recognition and appreciation for his service on that Council.
In 2011, Lloyd reached a milestone anniversary of 60 years’ service in the practice of law. Why did Lloyd choose law? His answer a few years ago was: “The need to help people out. I’ve been here so long everyone knows me, and I know everyone, about. I’m on my third generation of family members.” And quite possibly since that time and until his death, a fourth generation.
Lloyd was President and co-owner of AAA Abstract Co., Inc., in Stilwell and was a licensed real estate broker. In years past, he had been active in local civic organizations, being a continuous member of the Chamber of Commerce since 1955 and former member and officer of the Kiwanis Club. Lloyd expressed his support for the Chamber of Commerce in this way: “The Chamber is the spokesperson for your community. With the competition that’s out there today, you’ve got to have people dedicated to the community to sacrifice time and effort to encourage business. It’s really the only vehicle out there you have to highlight and emphasize what your community is about...the PR group of your community. Most of those communities successful at attracting business have an active Chamber of Commerce.”
Lloyd was also active in the religious realm. He has been a member of the First United Methodist Church in Stilwell since 1953 and has a long history with its many affiliated services, at one time or another holding every position a layman can hold, as well as teaching Sunday School for 35+ years. He was very proud of his work with Methodist Circle of Care for which he was still a current member of the Board of Directors, and the children and family
service agencies, including the Boy’s Ranch in Gore, OK, the Methodist Home in Tahlequah, OK, and the Frances Willard Home for Girls in Sand Springs, OK. He had been District Lay Leader of the Muskogee District.
Lloyd’s hobbies were no secret to anyone-golf was first and foremost. He also enjoyed motorcycle riding and snow skiing. Until recently, every year included a trip to Palm Springs, CA, for golf, and Vail, Co, for skiing, and many trips were made to Sturgis, SD, for motorcycle riding. Lloyd began riding motorcycles as a young teen with a Cushman motor scooter he delivered newspapers on, and through the years rode Hondas, Indians, finally graduating to Harley Davidsons.
The family is so very grateful for Lloyd’s many past and present friends in his First United Methodist Church family, and his multitudes of past and present colleagues in Stilwell and Adair County and across the State who became friends and confidants in his legal and business professions.
In lieu of flowers, any memorials or donations may be made to the First United Methodist Church, do Melissa Cole, 120 W. Division St., Stilwell, OK 74960, and/or its affiliate Circle of Care, 1501 N.W. 245th t., Suite 214, Oklahoma City, OK 73106.
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