Ralph B. Cole
(1934 — 2012)
Veteran Texas journalist Ralph Cole died Oct. 11 at the Integrity Transitional Hospital Seasons Hospice Unit in Denton. He was 78.
Cole was born July 27, 1934, in Fort Worth. He was a 1951 graduate of Gainesville High School and a 1956 graduate of Texas A&M University. He joined the U.S. Army Airborne in 1957.
Cole was editor of The Hondo Anvil Herald from 1956 to 1957 and The Alice News from 1957 to 1959. He was city editor of The Gainesville Daily Register from 1959 to 1961, when he re-entered the U.S. Army as a commanding officer of the Gainesville National Guard Unit. He returned to The Gainesville Daily Register in 1961 as city and farm editor. In 1969, he was named an editor with The Associated Press in Oklahoma City, where he covered the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
Cole later became publisher of The Sanger Courier and The Pilot Point-Signal for several years before joining the U.S. Postal Service in 1978 as a rural letter carrier. He retired from the Postal Service in 1996 in Sanger.
Cole married Carole D. Sluder Gonzilas on Aug. 9, 1993, in Gainesville.
Survivors include one daughter, Melissa Henson and husband Edward of Plano; a son, Thomas Edward Cole and wife Tina of Azle; a sister, Eva Lela King, and a brother, James R. Cole of Gainesville; stepsons, Jimmy Gonzilas and Michael Gonzilas of Gainesville; several nieces and nephews; and grandchildren, Cole, Marshall and Tyler Henson and Annie Cole.
He was preceded in death by his parents, James Thomas and Lonnie L. Cole, and wife, Carole D. Cole.
Betty Lou West
(1930 — 2012)
Betty Lou West died Oct. 29 following an extended illness. She was 81.
West was the wife of longtime newsman Bert West (currently at the Palacios Beacon), mother of Palacios Beacon Publisher Nick West and grandmother of Ryan West of the Palacios Beacon and of Mike McCracken, managing editor of the Yoakum News-Herald.
A native of New Castle, Ind., West was born Dec. 2, 1930, to the late Rose and Barclay Brown, and had resided in Texas since 1953. She married Bert West on Nov. 13, 1948.
In addition to her husband, survivors include daughters Leidon (John) Eames of Daingerfield; Dodi (George) Edinger of Lake St. Louis, Mo.; Debbie ( Tim) Reyna of Daingerfield; and Karen (Mickey) Robey of Cushing; and sons Nick (Mary) West of Palacios; Pat West of Mount Pleasant; and Larry (Missy) West of Yoakum. Other survivors include 17 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and a large extended family.
West was preceded in death by daughter Tina Louise.