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Jerrome Harold Cole

August 12, 1940 February 20, 2024
Jerrome Harold Cole
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Obituary for Jerrome Harold Cole

Jerrome (Jerry) H. Cole - Born August 12, 1940 – Died February 20, 2024 (Age 83)

Growing up the in Warroad MN area, Jerry farmed with his siblings while his parents were away working at a paper mill. During this time, he learned a lot of long forgotten skills like harnessing up and using teams of horses, breaking horses to ride, tending cattle, etc. He also became an avid hunter like the rest of his family.

Jerry married Margaret (Urtel) Cole in 1960. During this time Jerry was trying many different jobs like truck driving, heavy equipment operator, etc. After the young couple spent a little while in International Falls, they decided punching a clock could wait. They moved from the northern MN area in 1963 out to Montana where he worked as a ranch-hand up until 1970 when he moved back to the Warroad MN area. During this time he became a master at breaking horses in a way that made horses broke by him like riding the Cadillac of horses. They would adjust their gates and direction just by paying attention to queues of the rider’s position, leg movements, and stock movements of what they were chasing with very little reining required. He also learned other ranch hand/cowboy things like roping, rounding up cattle in very large tracks of land in the mountains, branding, etc. He did the ranch hand gig until he had put together enough of a stake to venture out on his own.

In mid 1970, they bought a farm outside of Warroad Minnesota where he would do logging (in winter), farming, raising Simmental cattle, Morgan horses and 3 sons (Daryl, Wesley, and Bret) in Minnesota throughout the 70’s. He really enjoyed this time in northern MN where he played in local hockey leagues with his brothers and was sometimes the backup hockey coach when his son was playing hockey during the winters. Many nights during the winter, if he wasn’t playing hockey he was watching hockey. In the summers, it was farming and some rodeos as his pastimes. He was always hitching up horses to feed the cattle, take the family on trips to neighbors and close by relatives via wagon or sleigh, and even had a team of Clydesdale horses.

But the call of Montana kept calling him back. Jerry and Margaret moved to the Musselshell Montana area in 1980 where they bought a ranch and lived raising cattle and Morgan horses. Since just raising animals on a smaller ranch (by Montana standards) did not keep him busy enough, he took some temporary gigs helping large ranches around where they lived before he then went to work for the County on road and bridge construction, road grading and maintenance, firefighting, and supervising the team in Musselshell. Life happens and Margaret passed away in 1997, but sometimes when God closes a door, he opens a window. Jerry went on to meet the sister of one of his best friends and neighbor.

He married Thelma (Brillhart) Cole in 1998, and after a few years he finally retired. After retirement, they continued to enjoy time on the ranch. Jerry also became an avid fisherman. He and Thelma bought a little boat and like anything, soon had to buy a bigger boat after learning what was good and not so good about their earlier boat. Their love of nature led to many trips to different Montana lakes. Plus they had an added excuse for many road trips around Montana and surrounding states. He always had many hunting/fishing and general life stories to share from his experiences over a life well lived.

Jerry passed in his sleep at home February 20th, 2024 after some long-term medical issues. He will be missed by many.

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