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Newton "Newt" Cole '48 March 31, 2021 1:37 PM updated: April 14, 2021 9:32 AM

Retired Colonel Newton V. Cole of Houston, Texas died peacefully in his home with loved ones by his side on Tuesday, the 30th of March 2021, at the age of 92.

Newt was born on the 7th of September 1928, in Marks, Mississippi. Newt was one of 6 children of Louis Southworth Cole and Mary Lillian Bush. While growing up, his family moved to Refugio, Texas where he graduated from high school. Newt elected to attend Texas A&M University in June 1944 at the young age of 16 where he graduated in August of 1947 with a Bachelor of Science and proudly served in the Corps of Cadets. Newt’s love of Texas A&M never wavered and his Aggie ring never left his finger. Newt furthered his education and went on to receive additional degrees from Southwestern Theological Seminary, BD; MRE, M.Div; George Washington University, MPA; and San Francisco Theological Seminar, D.Min. a Bachelor of Divinity, Master of Divinity, Master of Religious Education, Master of Science in Public Administration from George Washington University, and a PhD of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary.

Entering the Air Force in 1951 during the Korean War, he is the youngest chaplain to join the armed forces at the age of 22. Ambitious and goal driven he was promoted to “Full Bird” Colonel in 1974. His overseas assignments include Newfoundland, England, Southeast Asia and Japan, where he served as Staff Chaplain US Forces Japan and Fifth Air Force. He retired in 1987, after 36 years of service. Among his awards and decorations are the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, the Airman’s Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal.

Newt married Sue Nell Vernon in 1950 and raised three children, Charles Vernon Cole, Susan Ann Cole, and David Clifton Cole. Sue followed him throughout his military career all across the United States and worldwide. Nearing retirement they purchased the Tincup General Store, Tincup Lodge and cabins and opened the Mother Lode Café in a summer community in Tincup, Colorado where after retiring from the United States Air Force, Newt served as the pastor for Tin Cup Church.

Newt later married Linda Langham. In the winters they resided in Houston, Texas, where he served as the Military Chaplain consultant for the Baptist General Convention of Texas, relating to active duty chaplains stationed in Texas. He pastored the Tin Cup Community Chapel in the summers for 25 years before retiring. He has three adult stepchildren Lisa West, Susan Mendenhall, and Thomas Langham. Newt is preceded by Sue Cole, Linda Cole, and sons Charlie Cole, and David Cole.

Newt is survived by his brother Stacy Cole, his daughter Susan Cole and her husband Makoto Sugimoto, his stepdaughters Lisa West and Susan Mendenhall, his stepson Thomas Langham and his wife Doina Langham, and a long list of grandchildren including Souvik Cole, Meridith Powell and her husband Bryan Powell, Brett Mendenhall and wife Jennifer Mendenhall, Lee Mendenhall and his wife Christi Mendenhall, Laura Neal and her husband Drew Neal, Christi Grabowski and her husband Dan Grabowski, Thomas West and his wife Annie West, and Aileen Cox and her husband Peter Cox.

Later in his life, Newt’s grandchildren and great grandchildren enjoyed his infamous lap rides and wonderful storytelling. His great grandchildren Sofia, Abigail, Grey, Cole, Lily, Camilla, Drake, Easton, Everett, Henry, Kirby, Isaac, Sam, Louie, Betsy, Jackson, Luke, Conner, Sawyer, Benjamin, and William will forever hold him dear.

It was no secret the preacher loved his ice cream, as much as he loved his Aggies. If you were a friend to Newt you knew you were bound to share an ice cream or two in fellowship. His amazing memory allowed him the privilege as he could often find a friend in common with anyone he talked with. He loved serving his community and leading others to Christ through his actions.

Friends are invited to a visitation with the family from four o’clock in the afternoon until six o’clock in the evening on Tuesday, the 13th of April, in the library and grand foyer of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston.

The memorial service is to be conducted at eleven o’clock in the morning on Wednesday, the 14th of April, at Houston’s First Baptist Church, 7401 Katy Freeway in Houston.

The family will have gathered for a private interment at Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery in Houston.

In lieu of customary remembrances, please contact Susan Cole to make a contribution to his son’s, Charlie Cole, CVC Legacy Project.

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