Meet the Cole Family!

Lifetime Oklahomans, Joe and Charlene Cole chose to build their home in the White Oak section of IHR 8 years ago because it was an aesthetically pleasing area. We wanted a single-story home and pool, both handicap accessible. Working with our builder and nephew Steve Cole ( also an IHR resident) allowed us to build it.

Family is so important to us! In fact, it would be easy to say that’s our greatest accomplishment but it’s our marriage/relationship that is the crowning glory of our lives.  Joe and I started out as a couple of naïve kids without much direction. We fell in love at the Dairyland when he pulled up in his hot rod, “King Bee”, and married 3 months later! Joe was always willing to work hard to succeed, he was so positive we could make it! My main job was to keep our children and home running smoothly, but he was always willing to pitch in when he was home. When we were newlyweds, Joe worked as a plumber’s helper and then we moved to El Reno where he worked for a gasoline distributor. A lot of our lives developed during that short period; Kempner Joe, Jr. was born and we lived in our first house with a yard.

Joe’s brother got him an interview with Mr. Gammill at Reserve National Insurance in Oklahoma City. Joe was offered the job on the condition that he cut off his ducktails and quit wearing an ID bracelet. Thus he began his journey with Reserve National Insurance and the transformation of our lives began.  Joe worked hard and long, but always put our family first.  Joe traveled a lot during this time often being gone all week. He was promoted regularly and became one of the top people at RNI, ending with being named President. 

Joe retired after 47 years. It was a long and interesting career, taking us to many fun and exciting places plus bringing us many great friends. Joe now spends much of his time at our ranch in Meeker, OK overseeing his herd of Angus cows. His first set of twins was born in the spring, making him a happy rancher.

We were blessed with 3 girls during our years in the Midwest City Kandy, Kristi & Kari. The oldest 3 kids graduated from Midwest City High School and OSU. Kari moved to Edmond with us in 1993 and then graduated from Edmond Memorial. She works at The Meadows Center for Opportunity where they do shredding and recycling. Kari loves her job.

During the 62 years of our marriage, we’ve been very active in church and civic affairs holding many leadership positions. Joe was the longest-serving Regent at Rose State College and also served on the board of Midwest City Regional Hospital.  We taught Sunday School for many years. Joe coached Kemp’s little league teams and I coached the girls softball teams.
Travel has always been a fun activity for our family. We made sure to take our kids to all of 50 states and many foreign countries. We also enjoyed several cruises to Alaska, the Caribbean and several European countries, some including all 20 of our immediate family; what fun!

We have been blessed with a loving and close-knit family of 4 children, 11 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren with 2 more on the way! Kemp & his wife, Keven, live close by in Oak Tree. They have 3 married children who all graduated with honors from OSU: Kempner Joe Cole, III (Trey) & Mikki with children Brooklyn, Kempner & Mackenzie; Emily Cole Brown & Justin with children Tucker & Madeline; all of Edmond and Andrew Cole and Cassidy of Houston.

Kandy Cole splits her time between Edmond & Stillwater.  She has 3 married children: Alyssa Parsons Crijns who graduated from Columbia University then married Tom and lives in Scottsdale, AZ; Cole Parsons who graduated with honors from OSU & Deanna who live in Colorado; Addison Parsons Bell who graduated from UCO Nursing school with honors & McCann live in OKC. 

Kristi Cole Cook lives in Ft. Collins, CO with her husband, Jim. Their oldest 3 children: Katelyn, Kelsey & Kyler graduated with honors from college in Colorado. Katelyn then received her doctorate from Princeton. Kelsey is a PA in Tulsa. Keegan graduated from OSU and lives in KS with Sierra; Korben is a senior at OSU.  Kari and her most unsociable Chihuahua, Prince, live in IHR with us.  Our apologies to those who go by; I promise he is all bark and plenty annoying!