Harlan Lee Cole



Harlan Lee Cole, age 72 of Howard City passed away at his home on Monday, January 26, 2015.  Harlan was born on October 11, 1942 in Scottsville, Michigan at this grandparent’s home, the son of Cecil Raymond and Marjorie Esther (Taylor) Cole.  Harlan graduated from the Reed City High School with the class of 1960. 


Harlan married the love of his life, Donna Behrenwald on October 8, 1982 in Big Rapids.  Harlan was employed with Hersey Timber Company and the Michigan State Police at the Romeo, Rockford and Lakeview Police Posts. from 1968, retiring in 1993, at the age of 50.  Harlan was a man of few words, more action.  He walked the walk and talked the talk.  He snowmobiled from Amble to International Falls and back. He enjoyed traveling to various countries, state Parks, taking cruises and to Disney with the grandchildren. He has been to all 50 states and many countries.  


Harlan is survived by his wife, Donna; his mother, Marjorie E. Cole; daughter, Suzanne (Hoyt) Kogler, son, Marlan (Kay) Cole, Lelan (Penny) Cole, son, Scott (Autumn) Cole and daughter, Michelle (Chris) Turner; grandsons: Travis, Cole, Matt, Dan, Jacob, Trent and Seth’ grand-daughters:  Allison, Katey, Cecilia, Georgia, Autumn, Brittney, Chelsea and Jaime; great-grandchildren:  Brody Ashton Bella and Peyton; a sister, Jane L. Grove and a brother and sister-in-law, Donald and Martha Jo Cole and many nieces and nephews.


Harlan was preceded in death by his father, Cecil R. Cole.


A Celebration of Life Service has been scheduled for Friday, January 30, 2015 at 1 p.m. at Brigham Funeral Chapel, 9977 W. Howard City Edmore Road, Lakeview with Chaplain Timothy R. Decker officiating.  The family will receive the love and support of friends and extended family members at a visitation scheduled for Thursday, January 29, 2015 from 6 to 8 p.m. 1 and on Friday, one hour prior to the service (noon to 1 p.m.) at the Lakeview Chapel.  Interment will be at the Dickerson (Whitesell) Cemetery with a flag presentation conducted by the Michigan State Police Honor Guard.


Condolences may be expressed to the family utilizing the guestbook below.





Discussion closed
  • Dick Lowthian (Tuesday, January 27 15 05:08 pm EST)

    I went through Michigan State Police trooper recruit school with Harlan starting in February, 1968. After we graduated, I never had the pleasure of working with him but will always remember him
    fondly from our days of training. I will lift his family up in prayer.

  • mike and linda mckelvey (Tuesday, January 27 15 08:48 pm EST)

    So sorry to hear of your lose. You all are in our thoughts and prayers

    Mike and Linda mckelvey

  • Sherie Smith (Tuesday, January 27 15 09:16 pm EST)

    Michelle, so sorry to hear of you lose. We will keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.

    Sherie & Dan Smith

  • Margaret Maynard (Wednesday, January 28 15 08:19 am EST)

    I am so sorry for your loss. He was one in a million. Love you.

  • Chief David J Ellis (Wednesday, January 28 15 08:22 am EST)

    Dear Cole Family;

    You have our deepest sympathies and condolences from our department. God bless in this time of grief and sorrow.


    Chief David J Ellis
    Carson City Police Department

  • Jake Toering (Wednesday, January 28 15 11:44 am EST)

    Harlan and I were in the same squad at the Rockford Post and were partners quite often. We also deer hunted together which resulted in me getting my first two bucks. We spent time doing projects and
    playing cards. Our families were quite young at that time.
    He was a fine officer and represented the Dept. well. Transfers led us to different parts of the state, but we did run into each other every once and a while. We currently are wintering in AZ and
    will not be able to attend the ceremonies. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  • Bruce & Jill VanKerschaver (Wednesday, January 28 15 12:17 pm EST)

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Beth Cole (Wednesday, January 28 15 12:36 pm EST)

    My thoughts and prayers to the entire Cole family. Harlan was an amazing, kind and loving man and will be missed by all, much love to everyone.

  • Dawn Hendrick (Wednesday, January 28 15 12:37 pm EST)

    So sorry for your lose . Sending our prayers to Donna and her family.

  • Gloria Neve (Wednesday, January 28 15 06:40 pm EST)

    Saddened to hear of Harlan's passing. May he live on in your loving memories, and may those memories bring you strength, comfort and peace. (I remember Harlan from breaks that he and my brother (Page
    Neve) would make at my parents, for a cup of coffee/tea and cookies.) God's speed Harlan.

  • Gary Werkema (Wednesday, January 28 15 06:59 pm EST)

    Scott, so sorry to hear about your dads passing. I lost my dad at age 73 they were to young. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God bless

  • Sharon & Stan McCumber (Wednesday, January 28 15 10:07 pm EST)

    My sympathy to the Family of Harlan Cole.

  • Diane Pruett-Hathaway (Thursday, January 29 15 01:31 am EST)

    I'm so sorry for your loss. I remember Harlan as a gentle giant and he was always so sweet to me. I really loved him. Many prayers and blessings to you all. He was my favorite father-in-law.

  • Cheryl Porter (Thursday, January 29 15 09:29 am EST)

    Donna and family, you are all in my thoughts and prayers. There are no words to express my sincere sympathies at this time. God Bless.

  • Jim & JoAnne Franck and family (Thursday, January 29 15 10:25 am EST)

    Our condolences to the family of Harlan.

  • Michelle Proue (Thursday, January 29 15 11:49 am EST)

    Donna and the entire Cole family, I am so very shocked and saddened to hear that Harlan has left us. What a story teller. Heaven has gained a very bright and shining star. My deepest condolences.

  • Mary McNeilly (Thursday, January 29 15 11:58 am EST)

    You are not alone during this time. With deepest sympathy during this difficult time. Thoughts are always with you.

  • Deb (Proue) Nelson (Thursday, January 29 15 02:39 pm EST)

    I am so sorry to hear about Harlan. He sure was bigger than life in so many ways--he filled any room he was in. My thoughts will be with you, Donna, and the rest of the family.

  • najean wood (Thursday, January 29 15 03:57 pm EST)

    thinking and praying for you and your families.

  • art hersey (Thursday, January 29 15 07:01 pm EST)

    so sorry,,,,,,,,,

  • Lisa Stockdale (Thursday, January 29 15 10:09 pm EST)

    Donna I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • Kellie and Max Cole (Thursday, January 29 15 10:31 pm EST)

    Max and I wish that we were there with you tonight and our thoughts and prayers will be with you tomorrow. We loved Harlan, he was such a good man and will be missed by so many. So glad we made it up
    there this summer and were able to spend time with him. Please know we will be with you tomorrow in spirit.

  • Diana Humm (Friday, January 30 15 10:20 am EST)

    Dear Donna & Family,
    Please know that we are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers in your loss. He will be with you always in all the wonderful memories of him.
    Our very deepest sympathy in friendship & love. Gordie & Diana

  • Martin Moser (Friday, January 30 15 12:14 pm EST)

    I was so sorry to hear about Harlan. I have alot of good memories about working with him. My prayers are with you and your family.

  • William & Gloria Thompson (Friday, January 30 15 12:46 pm EST)

    Donna & Family,
    So sorry to hear about your loss of Harlan. Oh the memories I have of him & the time we spent together since meeting him when him family moved to Hersey. We had some good times, a little reckless
    we were now & then. I knew that when he became a State Trooper, that he would be really good at it, especially with the youth that he would encounter. If you were down in the dumps, five minutes
    around Harlan, if you still had a pulse, you were back on your feet! We will keep each of you in our prayers & our thoughts. We are so blessed to have had "Dusty" as a part of our lives. Thanks
    for sharing. Bill & Gloria

  • Priscilla Jeffers (Saturday, January 31 15 08:00 am EST)

    Peace to you all at this time of loss.

  • Gil Vanas (Saturday, January 31 15 08:08 am EST)

    To Harlan's family:
    May god bless and keep you at this time. Sorry to hear of his passing

    Gilbert Vanas & Carol

  • Roy and Dawn Tubbs (Saturday, January 31 15 01:51 pm EST)

    Harlan's family: Sorry to hear of Harlan's passing, have nothing but fond memories from High School and class reunions. May God bless and help you through this time of loss.

  • Karen Webb (Monday, February 02 15 11:38 am EST)

    Dear Donna and family: I was with Harlan in the RCHS Class of 1960 and loved him a great deal. He may have been a man of few words but the words he spoke were often clever and amusing. I remember him
    entertaining us on our Sr. trip to Chicago and at Class reunions over the years. What fun guy!
    What great memories you have to remember him by. Focus on those times! Love and Prayers, Karen Pegg Webb.

  • Kay Earnest Hensley (Monday, February 02 15 04:44 pm EST)

    To Harlan's Family,
    I also have fond memories of Harlan, Class of 60, reunions and school functions. I had to chuckle after reading Karen's comment about our Class trip to Chicago, especially the Lincoln Park Zoo. Hold
    your memories and your family close to your heart as they will sustain you in the days ahead. He will truly be missed by all those whose lives he touched in his 72 years with us.

  • Patrick and Patricia Coady (Wednesday, February 04 15 05:12 pm EST)

    We are sorry for your loss, we just heard.

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