Rodney W. Cole of Grass Valley, Calif., passed away on May 2, 2013, at Friend’s House in Santa Rosa with his wife, Reta, by his bedside.
Rod was born in Oakland, Calif., on April 7, 1928, to C. Walter and Mildred Cole, the younger brother of Richard Cole. Rod served for four years in the Navy before going to work for Ford Motor Company. Rod owned Cole Ford and then C & W Ford in Sebastopol. Though he sold the dealership in 1987, Rod was always a Ford man.
Rod met his wife, Reta, on a trail ride in Guerneville in 1973. They married on Sept. 11, 1976, in Santa Rosa. Together they enjoyed many adventures involving travel and trail riding.
After retiring to Grass Valley, Rod’s hobbies included restoring and showing John Deere tractors and riding horses. His love of horses began in his childhood after saving his earnings to buy his first horse, Rex. For many years Rod was associated with and served on the board for Sonoma County Driving and Riding Club in Santa Rosa. He competed in and served on the board for the North American Trail Riding Club. In addition, he was a member of the Sonoma County Trail Blazers, the Hitch and Bitch Driving and Riding Society, the Reno Sierra Riders and Chapter 111 of Early Day Gas Engines. Rod’s love of horses included riding in California, Oregon, Colorado and Australia, his favorite of all trips.
Rod is survived by his wife, Reta; brother, Richard Cole of Santa Rosa; son, Leland; granddaughter, Alyssa; daughter, Leslie (Andy); stepson, Robert Montini (Rebecca); step-daughter, Dina Montini as well as four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. No services planned at this time. There will be a memorial at a later date in Grass Valley.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Heartland Hospice of Santa Rosa.