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Bonnie Lou Cole

Miss Bonnie Lou Cole, 94, passed away on June 30, 2010. MissCole, who at her death was living in Brookhaven, was a lifelongresident of Lincoln County and was a well-known historian of thatarea.

Born on Christmas Day 1915, to James G. Cole and Lula PriceCole, Miss Cole was preceded in death by her parents; a sister,Jimmie Laverne Cole; and two brothers, Dallas Earl Cole and DelosLamar Cole. She was an active member during most of her life of thePleasant Hill Baptist Church in Bogue Chitto, where she served as aSunday school teacher and as training union director. One of thejoys of her early adult life was her work with the young people inthe Pleasant Hill Church area, and she took great pride in knowingthat some of these young people entered into full-timeministry.

Known across the state as a lover and guardian of historicalrecords and memorabilia, “Miss Bonnie” dedicated her life toservice to others. She had membership in Daughters of the AmericanRevolution (DAR), serving in various capacities at both the chapterand state level. In 1969, she organized the Chloe Holt DAR Chapterat Bogue Chitto, which was one of seven chapters she organizedwhile on the State DAR Board as organizing secretary. Asgenealogical chairman, she compiled over 50 books for historicalsocieties and libraries across the South.

As president of the Magnolia Chapter Colonial Dames in McComb,she helped raise money for a marker honoring Mississippi’s firstBaptist preacher, Richard Curtis Jr., who was one of her ancestors.In addition, the Mississippi Baptist Historical Commission was therecipient of her financial and continuing loyal support. She servedon the Governor General’s Council of First Families of Mississippiand contributed to or paid for several historical markers acrossthe southern part of the state.

One of Miss Cole’s most prestigious awards was given by theBrookhaven Exchange Club in January 1997, when they named her therecipient of the Golden Deeds Award, citing how she had shown “howwe can help our fellow man financially, and by using our time in auseful way for mankind.”

Miss Cole graduated from Enterprise High School and completedthe WPA Business School program. She served in the Bogue ChittoPost Office for over 33 years, retiring as Postmaster. Active inthe community, she chaired the Bicentennial celebration.

Even in her later years, Miss Cole remained faithful in herdesire to preserve historical records, donating her papers to theLincoln County Historical Society and to libraries in bothBrookhaven and McComb. The value she placed on education for youngpeople was exhibited when she fully endowed a scholarship atMississippi College in 2009. This Bonnie L. Cole Scholarship willbe awarded to Mississippi College students who are studying in thefields of ministry, nursing or pre-medicine.

Miss Cole is survived by her niece, Delores Cole Grantham andhusband, Larry, of Cullowhee, N.C.; her nephew, Frank Gunn andwife, Sandra, of Hattiesburg; and several great- andgreat-great-nieces and nephews. She is also survived by a largenumber of “kindred” across the nation.

It was her request that her obituary mention how she appreciatedall the love that was given and shown to her. “I hope I have donesome good in my lifetime,” she wrote.

Visitation will be Friday, July 2, at Pleasant Hill BaptistChurch from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the service at 11 a.m.Interment will follow in the church cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the Bonnie L. Cole Scholarship, P.O.Box 4005, Mississippi College, Clinton, MS 39058; or Pleasant HillBaptist Church, P.O. Box 170, Bogue Chitto, MS 39629.

Riverwood Family Funeral Service is in charge of thearrangements.

To express your thoughts to the family, you may visit www.riverwoodfamily.com and click on her nameto leave a comment.