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Saturday, April 15, 2023
Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)
The Reverend Clarence Alfred "Al" Cole Jr., 80 of Santee, South Carolina passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on the early morning of Monday, March 27, 2023.
Born July 3, 1942 in Charlotte, North Carolina Al was the son of the late Bishop Clarence Alfred Cole Sr. and Catherine Powe Cole.
Al is survived by his loving and faithful wife of 54 years, Mary Brunson Cole; his children, Cassandra Cooner (Jim) and Clarence (Clay) Alfred Cole, III (Marie Hall); grandchildren Chelsea V. Masters (Justin), Hannah Cooner, Aliah Cole and Carson Cole; sisters Laura Cole and Catharine Cole. He was predeceased in death by his parents, brothers, Ellerbe (Carol) and Carl and sister, Elizabeth.
Al attended Dreher High School until the 9th grade and then transferred to Christ School in Arden, North Carolina. After graduating, he attended the University of South Carolina and majored in Business. Upon graduation, he was quickly employed by Derrick, Stubbs and Stith, LLP of Columbia as a Certified Public Accountant until 1981 when he felt the Lord call him to follow in the footsteps of his father. He moved his family to Alexandria, Virginia where he attended Virginia Theological Seminary. His ministry took him to various parts of the East Coast beginning in Greenville, South Carolina and then to Eutawville, South Carolina where he served as the Rector for Church of the Epiphany from 1987-1992. He was very instrumental in leading the recovery after the devastating effects of Hurricane Hugo that struck the community in 1989. In 1992 he was called to serve the Diocese of Albany, New York as assistant to the Bishop. He remained there for 1 year but missed the opportunity to serve and be a part of a church. He returned to serving a congregation in 1993 in Sanford, Florida at Holy Cross Episcopal Church where he remained until his retirement in 2004.
In March of 2022, he and Mary moved to Santee, SC to be closer to his family.
Besides the one true love of his life, Mary, and his children and grandchildren was mint chocolate chip ice cream. He was a wonderful storyteller, and the diagnosed dementia of 2016 added a wonderful flair to his many stories as they sometimes transitioned over the years. He always reminisced of his first car, a 1954 Jaguar XJ and his years at Christ School and ministering to so many over the years. Every story somehow led back to his favorite song, "When I Fall in Love" by Nat King Cole. He would sing it almost every day to his wife and danced to it at his granddaughters wedding with her in 2020.
Al will be missed by many, but we take comfort in knowing that he knew the Lord and was greeted at the gates of Heaven by his parents, brothers and sister.
Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted online at avingerfh.com/.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Avinger Funeral Home, 2274 Eutaw Rd, Holly Hill, SC 29059, (803)496-3434.