William Hitchcock Cole, 96, left this earth for a better place on Friday, January 15, 2021. Bill was born
December 17, 1924, in Florence, Alabama, to parents Roy and Lizzie Hitchcock Cole, the eldest of three
children. He is survived by a brother, James (Jim) Coffman Cole, and wife Kitty (Winston-Salem, NC); sister,
Carolyn Cole McCollum (Franklin, TN); daughter, Robin Cole (Longwood, FL); son, William Hitchcock
Cole, Jr. (Las Vegas, NV); several nieces, nephews, cousins, and many current and long-time friends. His
wife of 54 years, Barbara Ruth Owen Cole, predeceased him in 2006.
After graduating from high school in Dayton, TN, Bill attended the University of Tennessee for one year
before serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II in the Pacific theater. Returning from service, Bill
attended Auburn University and graduated in 1949 with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. Bill
soon was employed by the Florida Power and Light Company in Miami, FL, where he spent his entire
career. Bill was licensed as a Professional Engineer in the State of Florida and was active in many
assignments during FP&L’s growth until his retirement as Manager of Overhead Transmission Distribution
in 1989. He also served on the standards committee of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics
Engineers for many years. He helped initiate the “bare hand technique” for high voltage maintenance
practices which was a milestone innovation at the time. In addition, he helped to develop the use of
helicopters for the maintenance of high voltage power lines.
Bill and Barbara were married in 1952 and were charter members of the Key Biscayne Presbyterian Church
where they were involved in many leadership activities, especially world missions. Bill contributed his time
generously to the Key Biscayne community including serving as Scoutmaster for Troop 322 for many years.
After Bill’s retirement, they relocated to Hendersonville, NC, and were members at Covenant Presbyterian
Church. Bill continued his dedicated service to their mission program until recent years.
In 2007, Bill left his home in Crooked Creek and has been a resident of Carolina Village since that time. He
was appreciative of the care and services provided there, and enjoyed the fellowship and activities of the
facility and the many friends he made there.
Bill Cole was enthusiastic about many interests throughout his life and was accomplished in many skills.
He was a long-time golfer and a loyal Auburn fan. Additionally, he really liked good food (especially
southern barbeque), reading, traveling, card games, and visits with friends and family. He faithfully served
his God, his family, his country, and others.
A private burial was held in Shepherd Memorial Park and a service to celebrate his life will be announced
at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials may be made to Missions at Covenant
Presbyterian Church, 2101 Kanuga Road, Hendersonville, NC, 28739.