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COLE, Charles Darby (Spike)



We are saddened to announce the peaceful passing of Charles Darby (Spike) Cole on Tuesday, February 6th, 2024. While we have lost "one of the good ones" we are comforted that he is reunited with his beloved wife of 55 years, Anne.

Dad grew up in Windsor Ontario and was the eldest son of Harry Abraham and Ann Catherine Cole (nee Darby). He leaves behind brothers Jim (Shirley), Harry (Jennifer) and Mike (Sue) while his sisters Mary-Ann and Patty are predeceased. He is also survived by brother-in-law Jim Harlow and sister-in-law Pat Cole. He had a wide family including many nephews, nieces and cousins.

Charlie embarked on the adventure of a lifetime with many of his close friends to the Chateau Lake Louise. He worked there for many summers finishing as the Head Bellman. We grew up hearing stories of his many escapades and the fun he had. The highlight was meeting our mother, Anne Cole (nee Harlow) who grew up in Hantsport Nova Scotia. Dad and Mom settled in Aurora where they enjoyed a wide circle of friends. Their marriage brought children Jonathan (Mary) and Darby (Jon) and eventually grandsons Dawson (predeceased) and Grady.

Dad dedicated his life to education. He attended Assumption High School, the University of Windsor, and the Toronto Teachers College. This led to a long career as an elementary school teacher in North York where he taught at Wilmington, Rockford, Kenton and RJ Lang.  Dad was especially proud of the field trips that introduced students to The Royal Winter Fair, Blue Jays games and Ottawa.

Retirement brought Dad and Mom to Orillia where they operated the Cranberry House Bed and Breakfast for 20 years. Countless guests enjoyed their hospitality and Dad and Mom loved the interaction. They volunteered at Soldier's Memorial Hospital and were founding members of the Probus Club of Orillia. Their final years were spent at the condos at Leacock Village where they continued to meet wonderful friends. Orillia has been very kind to Anne and Charlie.

We would like to thank Dr. Benjamin McNaull and his entire staff for the excellent care they provided. This extends to Personal Support Workers, the staff at Leacock Retirement Lodge, and the nurses from Bayshore.

Per Dad's wishes, there will be no service or visitation. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation would be appreciated.  We plan to host a Farewell to Orillia gathering this spring to honor the lives of Anne and Charlie. Please reach out if you would like to attend.  Messages of condolence are welcomed at

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