Happy 100th Birthday!
Friends, family, and fellowship were the prominent themes of Loree Millican (Momma) Cole’s 100th Birthday Celebration. A God-fearing woman, Momma Cole is ready to share her faith and thoughts by always telling you how it is. A cornerstone of Munford’s community, Momma Cole is an amazing, independent woman.
Born August 20th, 1918, Momma Cole was the youngest of eight children. At the age of ten, she, along with her family, were instrumental in the beginnings of River of Life (Munford Assembly of God) Church. To help celebrate her birthday, the church held a “Generation Blessings Sunday” service. While Momma Cole was present in video form, other cornerstones of the church were called to the front to tell stories of their time at River of Life and what their inspirations and directions were to the next generations, just as Momma Cole does when you visit with her.
In 1933, Momma Cole married Spencer Walter Cole and together they had five children. Her youngest son, Dwayne Cole, the Mayor of Munford, issued a proclamation for Momma Cole Day on August 20th, 2018. At her Birthday Celebration, Momma Cole was also awarded the Centenarian Award by Governor Bill Haslam. She was also recognized by Speaker of the House Beth Harwell and Senator Mark Norris. Accolades were presented by State Representative Debra Moody. Momma Cole also got a congratulatory letter from the President and First Lady for making it to 100 years of age!
Momma Cole loves meeting with people and talking to them about their families and her own. She and her family are and have been very influential in Munford’s community. At her Birthday celebration, people lined up out the door to say hello and give her well wishes before her special day. Family from Ohio, Missouri, and Connecticut all came to see her and be part of the celebrations. Katrina (Tina) Baca read a very touching poem by her mother, Momma Cole’s daughter, Joyce.
All of Momma Cole’s friends and family had wonderful things to say and share about her. Two of her granddaughters, Kelly Warhurst and Kathryn Cole, shared wonderful memories of canning fruits, vegetables, jams and jellies with Momma Cole.Tina Baca, another one of her granddaughters, talked about how involved Momma Cole was with the youth at River of Life, something Cindy Mathis, a friend of the family, also talked about, “Once I went to a youth yard sale, and they had a couple of handkerchiefs set out. With them, they had a couple of index cards that said: “Every lady needs to have a handkerchief in her Bible, love Loree Cole.” And I still have those handkerchiefs; they are a treasure to me!”
Even at 100, Momma Cole still fixes her own meals and lives a fairly independent life. She has stayed in her own house by herself, but her children do spend the evenings and nights with her. She will clean her house and dresses as though she is going to meet “royalty” every day. When speaking with Momma Cole, she was ready to discuss things going on in the community and could fairly readily tell you different historical aspects of the town. We talked about when she and her husband ran Cole’s Grocery and the City Cafe and how much has changed since then, both in Munford and the surrounding area. We had an excellent time talking and visiting with each other.
Momma Cole is a cornerstone of her community. She is loved and cherished by all of her friends and family. We, at Cypress, want to wish you a very happy 100th Birthday Momma Cole! Here’s to your 100th year!
Love your family at Cypress!
All pictures by Bonnie Temke.