Steven Dudley Cole was born in Sherman, Texas on April 25th 1946, to Hester and Kenneth Cole. Frequently moving due to his father’s career as owner of a chain of steakhouses, Steve lived in California, Texas, Arizona, and Florida as a child, instilling in him a deep love of all the natural beauty found in America’s vast and variable landscapes. This love led to a burgeoning young interest in art, specifically landscape painting, which secured him a scholarship to the University of Texas at Austin. Finding himself bored with college life, he left college to travel the country with a group of friends before enlisting in the United States Navy in 1965.
Steve served aboard the USS Richmond K. Turner during multiple deployments to the waters off the coast of Vietnam. His duties also took him onshore, where he supported Marine units by monitoring specialized collection equipment used to detect waterborne movement of military supplies and material. In between and after these tours, Steve traveled with the Navy through Europe and the Pacific. The best steak he ever had was in Kobe, Japan. His final duty in the Navy was as an electronics instructor. In his off time, he would spend his time competing (and winning) in motorcycle races in tracks around the San Diego area.
After being honorably discharged from the Navy, Steve worked as an electrical engineer for various companies in the California area. His first engineering job after the Navy was at a startup in San Luis Obispo that made specialized uninterruptable power supplies for various small companies in Silicon Valley. His career took him away from Silicon Valley and into supporting range operations for rocket launches, first on the west coast and then on the east.
In the late 1990’s, Steve would meet Cheryl Welch on a first date that lasted 20 minutes. He would spend the rest of his life with her. They married on March 29th, 2003. They shared a love of adventure and travel; there was rarely a weekend that wouldn’t find them on an obscure backroad in Florida, trying to find an even more obscure restaurant or bar. Steve was a proud member of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, riding under the road name “Snoop”, his wife Cheryl “Slick”.
Steve died on October 27th, 2018. He is preceded in death by his father Kenneth, his mother Hester, and his brother Norman. He is survived by his wife Cheryl and her son Shane (Kerrianne) and grandson Peter Thomas Welch, as well as his children Brad and Paige Cole. Services will be held November 5th, with a requiem mass held at 11:00 A.M. at Holy Name of Jesus Church in Indialantic, followed by burial at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery at 2:00 P.M. A celebration of life will be held at 4:00-6:00PM at VFW Post 4534 on Sunday, November 4th.
In lieu of flowers, please send all donations to the Fisher House Foundation.