James Vincent Cole

James Vincent Cole, age 91 died Jan. 3 at the Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

He was born September 20, 1910 in Cosmopolis, Wash. to Amos P. and Grace (Hendricks) Cole.

He married Esther (Ridout) Michaelson on Christmas Day, 1936.

In 1924, he moved from Washington to Alaska with his parents and brother Ken aboard the family trolling boat, the “Emmadick.”

Until 1937, he fox-farmed, logged, fished and did many other jobs around southeast Alaska, including pile driving on the cofferdams for the piers on the Juneau-Douglas bridge in 1935.

From 1937 to 1969, he lived in Juneau and was the principle partner or proprietor in the firms (Cole Brothers, J. V. Cole & Co., Cole and Paddock) that built the first “Harris Harbor” floats, the Herbert and Eagle River bridges, the Brotherhood Bridge, the first ferry terminal offshore structures for the seven main towns in southeast Alaska, the original Glacier Bay National Park structures in Bartlett Cove and many other major works in Juneau.

The firms’ other projects in coastal Alaska included the Snow River bridges, the Kenai and Kasilof River bridges and the post-earthquake dock at Seldovia.

He moved to Bainbridge Island in 1969 and began another career as a fisherman/boat builder. He pursued these vocations until 1994.

In 1998, he moved to Suquamish and became a crafter of homes. He was just completing his third house when he died.

He was preceded in death by Esther Cole, his wife of 58 years, who died Feb. 4, 1994.

He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Clifford M. and Elizabeth (Castle) Cole of Juneau; granddaughter Susetta (Cole) Beattie of Juneau; grandsons Curtis M. Cole of Seattle and Conrad M. Cole of Poulsbo; and great-grandchildren Pamela Fletcher of San Antonio, Jason Beattie of San Diego, Kathleen Beattie of Juneau and Drake and Aidan Cole of Poulsbo.

A celebration of his life will be held 2-4 p.m. Jan. 13 at the United Church of Christ, 18732 Division Street, Suquamish, Wash.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Bainbridge Public Library, 1270 Madison Avenue North, Bainbridge Island, WA, 98110.