Kenneth James Cole, 71, a lifelong Red Hook area resident, passed away at Sunday February 3, 2019, after battling a long illness
Born in Rhinebeck on April 12, 1947 he was the son of the late Melvin and Vera (Stoutenburgh) Cole.
Ken is survived by his fiancé and best friend, Deborah Reynolds who resides at home. His daughter, Ashley M. (Ryan) Lukach of Tivoli; and his grandsons, Mason J. Lukach and Myles R. Lukach of Tivoli. Ken was guardian to Caiden Staats who resides in his home in Red Hook. He is also survived by his three brothers, Glenn (Madeline) of Pleasant Valley, Stephen (Karen Szatko) Cole of Red Hook, and Christopher Cole of Washington State; his nieces and nephews, Jennifer, Sarah, Chad, Brandon, and Jane Cole; along with extended family, numerous friends and colleagues.
A nephew, Henry Cole predeceased him.
Ken graduated from Red Hook High School in 1965, attended Dutchess Community College, graduated from Ulster Community College, and went onto earn his Bachelor's from Rochester RIT 1973.
Throughout his life, Ken served his country. He served in the United States Army from 1966-1968, and retired with 30 years in the US Navy Reserves as (CPO) Chief Petty Officer.
Ken started his career with DeLaval Corporation in Poughkeepsie. He then began his law enforcement career with the Village of Rhinebeck Police Department, and he worked for the Dutchess County Sheriff Office. Following his graduation from the New York State Police Academy, Ken then worked for 25 years with NYS Environmental Conservation Division of law-enforcement. He retired on June 9th, 2010 while retaining the rank of Lieutenant in (BECI) Bureau of environmental crimes investigations unit
Ken's passion for golf started in high school; he also loved hunting and fishing. Active in the community, Ken was a longtime active member of the Red Hook Golf Club-and served as a member of their Board of Directors, a member of the Red Hook Boat Club, a member of the Montgomery Post 429 American Legion in Rhinebeck – where he served at Past Commander and Bar Chairman, and also served as a Board Member for Northern Dutchess Daycare in Rhinebeck.
Ken was the founder and longtime administrator of the Montgomery Post 429 American Legion-Children with Cancer Fund, which provided assistance to any child with cancer.
The Cole family would like to acknowledge the love & devotion that Debbie Reynolds has had for her longtime partner Ken throughout his sickness.
Memorial donations may be made in Kenneth's memory to the Shriner's Hospital for Children, 51 Blossom St., Boston, MA 02114, to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-1942, www/stjude.org/memorial, or a charity of one's choice.
Friends may call at the Burnett & White Funeral Homes on Thursday, February 7th, 2019 from 4 to 8pm. Montgomery Post 429 American Legion will conduct services at 6:45 pm.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, February 8th, 2019 at Burnett & White Funeral Homes, Red Hook, NY. Burial will be at St. Paul's Lutheran Cemetery, Red Hook.
Arrangements are under the direction of Burnett & White Funeral Homes 7461 S. Broadway, Red Hook, NY.
For directions, or to sign the online guest book, please visit www.Burnett-White.com.