Funeral Services of Edwin Voss Cole
December 6, 1949
Preston Third Ward Chapel
Prelude "Hear Us Pray" by Anna A Moore
Bishop Hollingsworth - Brothers and sisters, we have met here today to pay our respect to Brother Edwin Voss Cole. Brother Cole was born October 19, 1879, at Willard, Utah, a son of John and Mary Ann Voss Cole. Brother Cole has been a resident of Preston for the past 31 years where he has been engaged in farming. Before coming to Preston he lived in Willard and Treasureton.
He married Olla Rebecca Owens on March 19, 1900 at Brigham City and she died about 30 years ago.
He survived by the following sons and daughters; Marilla Ann Fife, Jerome; Owen V. Cole, Buhl, and Mrs. Alice Taylor, Odessa R. Cole, Ralph E. Cole, Ottis L. Cole and Wayne W. Cole, all of Preston; 24 Grandchildren and one brother and one sister; John A. Cole, Preston, and Mrs. Alice C. Poulsen, Idaho Falls.
Members of the family have planned the services and they will be conducted as follows: "Oh My Father" will be sung by the choir. Opening prayer will be offered by Elden S. Tanner. The first speaker will be L. E. Hansen,
Song by Choir, led by Mrs. Bosworth with Anna Moore at the organ, "Oh My Father".
Prayer by Elden S. Tanner:
Our father who art in Heaven, with humility and thanksgiving we have met this day to pay and show our last respects to Brother Edwin Voss Cole. We are thankful for the gospel and faith we have in the resurrection for we know, Father in Heaven, that some time in the future we will see him and meet our loved ones who have gone on. We are thankful, our Father in Heaven, that he was married in the Temple; that he and his wife have brought into this world eight blessed spirits. We ask thee, Father in Heaven, to comfort their hearts and bless them that they may acknowledge Thy hand in all things; that Thou are the giver of all things, and that Thou givest and takest away. We ask Thee to bless those who might speak that they may do so in a fine spirit which will be pleasing in Thy sight; That they will say those things which will be a blessing unto those who have met this day. Bless those who might sing that the music may be under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. We now dedicate ourselves before Thee and ask Thy Spirit to be with us this day, and we do it in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
First Speaker, Bishop L. E. Hansen:
Today we have met at the end of the road, the road that leaves life behind us. I do not know of any acquaintance of mine or friend that has reached the end of the road, that has led cleaner or whiter life than Brother Edwin Cole; a path that his boys and girls can follow and step in his steps.
To rise at dawning brave and strong
To heal a wound, or right a wrong
To help some weaker one along
To fill a heart with gladder song
To meet a stranger on his way,
To shake his hand and pass the day
To speak a word of kindness too
And hide the sorrow deep in you
To stand for right with courage true
To show with pride the man in you
To live a life of noble deeds
A sacrifice for human needs
To great lifes and with no disgrace
To meet your Maker face to face,
To feel along the path you've trod
That you have known both man and God
That is the way Brother Cole lived his life. He lived in sympathy with all mankind, and with God. I am happy I have known this splendid family for a great number of years. We all look back upon those dreaded days when influenza cast its lot among us to take some of the choice spirits from our homes. It seemed to have a choice of the loved mothers, and I still remember when Bro. Cole and his sweet wife lived in our ward. I was just a young man when she was taken from that fine family, and we all thought that he wouldn't be able to stand the ordeal or be able to go through it. He wondered and figured just how it could be done. Seven small children, Ella the oldest, how wonderfully well she took that part of hers standing at the head of the family. Voss was a fine young man who gave the love of a father and those children spread forth their love to him. They went along wonderfully well, doing deeds that were right and setting an example for the community, of patience, love, long suffering, and industry. Of their acquaintance, I feel sure you people haven't seen the equal in our day. Th boys and girls that are left behind have arranged a few lines that are fitting for them.
A REAL MAN
Men are of two kinds, and he
Was of the kind I'd like to be.
Some preach their virtues, and a few
Express their lives by what they do
That sort was he. No flowery phrase
Or glibly spoken words of praise
Won friends for him, He wasn't cheap
Or shallow, but his course ran deep,
And it was pure. You know the kind.
Not many in a life you find
Who's deeds outran their words so far
That more than what they seem they are.
There are two kinds of lies as well;
The kind you live, the ones you tell.
Back through his years from age to youth
He never acted one untruth.
Out in the open light he fought
And didn't care what others thought
Nor what they said about his fight
If he believed that he was right.
The only deeds he ever hid
Were acts of kindness that he did.
Of course he taught them to understand their Father; that was his principle. It was his thought in life to bring them up in fear and admonition of their Father in Heaven that they might do as they have done. How blessed it seems to me that they have been, in being guided to select a fine companion to go with them through life. They have selected their mates from choicest families.
It seems to me all of you must have heard of the danger they passed through on the farm - a little boy fell in the canal. I am led to feel and know that a guardian angel hovered around and about that place and that the guardian angel was their mother. She guided their footsteps forth to the safety of that child, even guiding the horses to go in the wrong way, guided the footsteps of her son to restore and bring to life that child that was so near to God. The blessings are common to some people. What great things come to the lives of those who seek those blessings! Good comes to people when they do good. Harm comes to people when they commit sin. That has been a law that was given before the foundation of this life and earth. Good will come to those who do good, and there is no power on earth that can prevent its coming. Where good is given; good is received and given back. In the same way harm and sin come back to those who do harm and commit sin.
It is our thought that they did as a family. They did it among their neighbors and friends. You know Brother Cole loved this earth and the people that lived here. He thought it was a beautiful place to live, and we all do. When God placed beautiful birds upon this earth, He gave them beautiful plumage. Artists have tried to imitate the beauty of those birds. He said to himself, I shall give them voice and sweet song." and He did. Then He made the beautiful flowers Even the Savior said that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like the lilies of the fields. But after all this color and design and beautiful flowers, God said I will touch them and give them perfume," and He did. Then He placed men and women here upon this earth. He gave them sight and hearing, But He said, "If that isn't enough I'll plant within their hearts something greater," and He placed within them love, love to have children. And in great abundance He placed that love with this splendid man and family.
Brother Cole loved his family dearly and rather than think for one moment that something in life might cause a disturbance that would not bring happiness or joy, He did not select a help mate, after his wife died. "I'll live with them and go long in life, " and he did. I don't know where a greater love has ever been shown to a father than has been shown by these boys and girls. And I don't know where a father showed greater love to his children. They are happy over the things he has accomplished in his life. They are happy for the love he has showered down upon them. He has gone to his rest. Life's work is well done and life's victory is now won, and now comest rest, rest well earned, rest that Brother Cole is entitled to.
I am sure that he will enjoy the gifts that he has laid away - robes of the priesthood and glory and honor. As long as the rivers run toward the sea and as long as the stars fill the heavens, his name and his love will be cherished forever in these splendid children, and those people who loved him. You are filled with pleasure because you have known him. He so lived his life that the world is better because he lived. All he gave he gave with such excellent trust, and without fear of examination, so that his faithful, kindness and love could endure forever. Brother Cole will be with us no more but his life of honesty and integrity will remain with us forever. His bright and cherry home always held a clean spirit. We, who were privileged to enjoy his hospitality, have heard of his kindness to many and it will be cherished in our hearts forever. We, who are left behind, there are a lot of nice things we could do, acts of kindness that we could do to help to make the pathway brighter and sweeter for those who mourn.
Supposing today were your last day on earth,
The last mile of your struggles how much are you worth.
How much can you take Home to God.
Don't count as possessions your silver and gold,
Tomorrow you leave these behind.
And all that is yours to have and to hold,
Is the service you've given mankind.
Just what have you done as you journeyed along,
That was really and truly worth while.
Do you think that the good deeds will outweigh the wrong.
Can you look on your life with a smile.
We're only supposing, but if it were true,
And you had invoiced your deeds from your birth.
And you had figured the profits on all of life's deals.
Just how much are you really worth.
Those are thoughts that have been arranged by men that understand humanity, by a man who under stands service by a man who reads the scriptures, by a man who understood the sayings of the prophet of God. To be endowed with his spirit that arranged those words that bring comfort to the hearts of those who mourn that they might be stimulated to keep doing good and be stimulated to keep helping their fellowmen.
I appreciate very greatly the privilege given me by these splendid people to occupy a few minutes at this time. I have loved them a long time, I know of their goodness and their lives here upon this earth. I appreciate my friendship with them. May God bless those who mourn. May he bless those more who loved Brother Cole best, and as he sails upon the seas to that new home, and lands on that new shore let us have faith that standing there will be many loved ones waiting to welcome him to his new home. May God bless the resting place of him and his loved wife. May the birds sing their sweetest songs, I pray, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Bishop Earl A. Hollingsworth:
We will now have a quartette composed of Bishop Ezra Corbridge, Arell Christensen, Donna Ransom, and Illa Campbell, accompanied by Mrs. Christensen. "Beautiful Isle of Somewhere". They will be followed by Bishop Leo Petterson, our second speaker. Allebell Hull will sing "Will There Be Any Stars In My Crown", accompanied by Lorena Benson at the organ.
The concluding speaker will be Melvin G. Larsen.
Song by quartette, "Beautiful Isle of Somewhere".
Second speaker, Bishop Leo Petterson:
I Hope and pray that beautiful prayer that was uttered will be answered in my behalf. I don't know when I have felt more humble and more weak than I do at this moment. I ask you, my brothers and sisters, to offer up a prayer in my behalf that I might control my feelings and say some of the things I would like to say this afternoon.
As I sat here and listened to that beautiful song that was just rendered my mind went back just two years ago to when I was Bishop. Not long after midnight the telephone rang and I was asked if I would come to the hospital immediately. I hurried to the hospital to find two other brothern in the room of a sick man. As I went into the room of this good brother he held out his hand. He took it and said "Brother Petterson, I don't want you to administer to me but I want you to wait while I sing just one verse from your L.D.S. Hymns. Nobody ever knew that this man had ever sung a hymn or had ever known one. As we sat and waited for moment, his eyes seemed to be placed in one corner of the room. He began to sing;, he had only sung a word or two when to our surprise somebody joined him on the outside. So concerned were we with the voice that one of the brethern let the window down. No one was there. But the voice came from the spirit world where in a few minutes he left. As he passed this life a smile came on his face as he bid us good-bye.
I say this to you, my brothers and sisters, because I know that the voice we heard was from the spirit world. I know that the spirit world is very near. I am positive that if we could only look for one second with a spiritual eye we would be looking upon one of the most happy reunions that possibly ever occurred. With Brother Cole and his wife, separated for 31 years, surely there must be a happy reunion.
Here while the savior was here upon the earth, he and the twelve disciples were in the home of Peter, on one occasion and the disciples were discussing who would be the greatest in the kingdom of God, the savior answered them as if he knew what they had been talking about. He reached over and took a little child, possibly one of Peters, and set this little child down among them and said "Unless you become as this little child you cannot enter into the kingdom of Heaven".
The other evening Brother Miles and I went into the home of Brother Cole and we administered to him. As we left that home Brother Miles said, "He is surely a humble man, as humble as a little child". Was he ready to go into the kingdom of God? Yes, this man prepared himself. He was ready to go; he had become as a little child, humble to the administration that we gave unto him. I think today we pay our tribute to possibly the richest man of our community. I wonder if there is another man that has ever filled the position of Bro. Cole. Bishop Hansen told us of how he has been able to rear his little family as both the father and the mother. I wonder if any of us could have done a finer job than Bro. Cole. Brother Cole raised a young family, every single solitary one of them. Every one is a credit to the community, to the church, and to the family. Not a single solitary one carries a blemish. They are pure, clean honorable men and women. None of us could have done better. What an honor it must be.
Yes, there is a prayer in my heart that my life may be such that when I have finished my labors here I may again associate with Brother Cole as I have here. He and I have spent many hours together, we have placed many tons of beets in the wagon and have taken them to the factory. Yes, we have worked side by side, and I thank God Above other things that I was a member of the Priesthood when he was in the Presidency.
I told my wife the other night how well, I remember how we tried to raise small funds to send to certain families, who were destitute. A member of our quorum said "I haven't got a penny, but if you could use a chicken I would be glad to turn it over." "I would be glad to turn it over for that small quarter that the quorum is asking." Brother Cole wrote a receipt for that tow bit chicken and took it home. Yes, the things he did mighty few people knew. He was a man that did these things and kept them to himself.
in conclusion, my brothers and sisters, I want to bear my testimony to you that I absolutely know there is a resurrection, that I Know we will live again; as surely as I know we live here. The only angels that live in the spirit world are men and women that lived here upon this earth at sometime or other, and if you want and brother Cole wants, he holds the right to come as an angel of God. I bear my testimony to you and to his sons and daughters.
Bishop Hansen told of the instance of the little child. He was sure the little child's grandmother was there. Yes, I am sure she was there. I am sure that with the love Brother Cole had for his family that he's not very far away and if anyone of you need him he will be on hand to help you. We are not so far away from the spirit world; that veil is mighty thin at times.
And you, my brothers and sisters, know that when I say to you that my own father and mother in many hours of need have come, when I could even feel the warmth of their bodies. When I was sick and afflicted my sweet mother, who has been dead for some time, came in answer to my prayer and tucked the covers around my neck and tucked me down in bed, as she used to do when I was unable to do for myself, and that was not long ago and I say to you, your Father will come if you need him. He knows every deed, every action, every thought and when you pray he will listen in to hear if he is needed. May God bless this wonderful family that they may continue on and follow in the footsteps of a father that they can well be proud of. May God bless you with his choicest blessings, I humbly pray, and I do it in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen
Song: Allebell Hull "Will There Be Any Stars In My Crown" Accompanied by Lorena Benson
Concluding Speaker: Bishop Melvin G. Larsen
For a few moments that I may occupy I would like to bear testimony of this good man. As far as my knowledge is concerned, what has been said so far has been the truth. It has been about twenty years since my acquaintance with Brother Cole's family since he moved into Whitney Ward and built a place for his young family. I presume that it wasn't so long after the loss of his good wife. It wasn't my privilege to know her but I presume that she was a fine woman.
And the picture that comes to me today is this. It is not a time of mourning but a time of rejoicing for Brother Cole. He was married in the temple. He made preparation for this day from the very beginning. It is said he wasn't very demonstrative in his actions in the ward; but I do know this - he was willing to finance our ward. He came into the ward during the depression years. I learned a real lesson; in fact, I labored for Brother Cole and cut grain for him for a number of years. And when we had completed our work I realized one thing, that in all the trying circumstances I never heard him utter a swear word in all my acquaintance with him. I have never heard Brother Cole or his boys say an unkind word. Another thing I learned when I went into the home of Brother Cole was that he gave responsibility to his children. He gave unto his daughter the business end of taking care of the finances, to see that all ends met and that all worked together.
And it reminded me of the doctrine which we would like to live, the doctrine of unity in the home and the doctrine of unity in the church. It has been said by the Savior "By your works ye shall be judged". I think the same can apply to an individual family. I think the testimony of the life of Brother Cole rests in his boys and girls. He's gone as far, I think as he can. He's done everything that the Lord required of him, as far as he understands. The boys and girls have that same privilege of preparing themselves to go into the Temple of God, so that when this day comes they, too, will be prepared. He will be prepared so that under the authority that has been spoken of by Brother Hansen and Brother Peterson he can take the hand of his wife and come forth in the resurrection for eternal life. If our lives have been justified, we will meet him in the Celestial Kingdom. I do not think or know that anything could be said here to comfort you more than to know that God, our Heavenly Father, has prepared a place for us. He has prepared the ladder for us to climb and gain the life that is for us, and that life is a beautiful life.
I think he was a family man. He taught by sheer example, and he was willing to do his share in the ward. His boys were brought up to do the same. We called on these boys for a welfare project, and they worked hard just as if they were working for themselves. I think that Brother Cole's life has been a successful life; and I think today if we can dedicate ourselves unto the thought of taking care to teach our own such example as did Brother Cole and his wife, we will be rewarded. These are the ones who are so dear to him. I don't feel Brother Cole has failed; he has done a mighty fine job, raising his family.
I remember when Bishop Tanner as bishop. Our concern was to help Brother Cole and his family in our Bishop Meeting. During times that I have been in the homes of these boys I think they have become part of my own life. They are humble boys. I feel that my being here is a tribute to me, and I feel grateful to be a friend to these boys and girls. They are indeed fine young men and I trust that they will continue on the road and do as their father has done. Go into the Temple of God and be married for time and eternity. This is my humble prayer for them and for us, and I ask it in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
In behalf of the family we have been asked to thank all those who have assisted in any way. Closing song, "I Need Thee Every Hour" will be sung by the ward choir. Closing prayer will be offered by Glen Coulsen. The grave will be dedicated by Clifford Barker from Willard, Utah.
Our righteous and eternal Father, at the close of these beautiful services we feel thankful for the spirit that has been in our midst. We are thankful for the life of this man, one of Thy sons, and we are thankful for the family which he has left here to praise and honor his name. We are thankful for these beautiful flowers which have been brought here to pay tribute, love, and respect for Thy song. We ask Thee now to dismiss us with Thy blessings and that a portion of thy spirit will go with this brother to his final resting place and that no harm or accident will befall anyone on the journey to and from the cemetery. We ask these favors and blessings in the name of Thy Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Postlude: by Anna Moore, "Abide With Me"