Gene Shepard Cole, 85, of Ozark, Missouri, formerly of Liberty, passed away on Nov. 23, 2020, after a long illness.

Gene was born on Feb. 23, 1935 in St. Paul, Minnesota, to Glen Richard and Vyvyan Shepard Cole. A few hours after his birth, Gene's mother, Vyvyan, passed away due a congenital heart ailment. At the age of 3 days, Gene was sent to live with his aunt and her husband, Lois Cole and Albert Fisher, who lovingly raised him as their own. Gene graduated from Liberty High School in 1953, where he was a member of the track team and wrote a humorous column for the Liberty Bell student newspaper. He served in the Missouri National Guard for eight years and was honorably discharged as a staff sergeant. Gene was fun-loving and ornery; in his younger days he had a passion for hunting, fishing, hot rods and fast boats. He relished the memories of time spent on his grandparents' farm in Kearney and was a die-hard Chiefs fan.

Gene is survived by his loving wife of 41 years, Diana Gideon Cole; brother, Jim Fisher and wife, Diane; two sisters, Sally Sartain and husband, Larry, and Susie Koch and husband, Bob. He is additionally survived by two sons, Scott and wife, Ann, and Steve and wife, Jennifer; two daughters, Micki Wayland and husband, Brad, and Kris Brentano and husband, Mark; two stepdaughters, Janice Gann, and Donna Loftis and husband, Steve; sister-in-law, Judy Grant and husband, Fred. Also surviving are 12 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild.

Gene was proceeded in death by his parents; his adoptive parents, Albert and Lois Fisher; and a brother, Don Cole.

A memorial service was held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 28, at Barnes Family Funeral Home, Ozark, MO. Burial in Sparta Cemetery, Sparta, MO.

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