Lyle H. Cole

Lyle H. Cole, 69, of Onaway, died at McLaren Northern Michigan hospital in Petoskey Thursday October 14, 2021. He was born in Onaway March 18, 1952, the son of Douglas Sr. and Clarissa “Jean” (McClary) Cole. After graduating high school, Lyle served in the U.S. Navy. Together since 1985, he married Diane Grainger. Lyle and Diane were always together and made a good life.

A lifelong resident of Onaway, Lyle was well-known in the community. Through the years he worked for Brewbaker’s Furniture, Cedar Log and Lumber, Hyde’s Tree Service, Great Lakes Power and Pipe, and Chagnon Funeral Home. He and Diane also ran Grainger’s Towing for many years. Lyle’s greatest passion was the outdoors. An avid fisherman, Lyle could catch fish in a mud puddle but preferred his favorite fishing holes, Kleiber Pond and Mud Lake. His fishing buddies often heard Lyle say, “Open the gates, let ‘em through!”  He loved deer season with many successful hunts including a monster 17-point buck that he took on state land from his best buddy’s deer blind. Lyle certainly was a “crack shot” when his gun was sighted in but that is a whole other story. In 2020, in a stroke of luck, Lyle drew a tag for a bull elk after applying at the last minute. One of his proudest moments in the woods was when he took a 4 x 4 bull with an amazing shot through brush and tangles. With many years of hunting and fishing experience, Lyle was knowledgeable in the ways of the woods and waters.

Besides hunting and fishing, Lyle loved camping with his family at Twin Tomahawk Lakes and Mud Lake. He had a keen eye for spotting morel mushrooms with special picking spots that he kept secret.  From his years of delivering furniture, working for Hyde’s, and driving tow truck Lyle knew every back road in northern Michigan. He knew where everything was and always had interesting tidbits of knowledge to share about out-of-the-way places. He was always puttering with something in his garage and enjoyed shooting guns and target practicing. Lyle had a great sense of humor and was always telling jokes. He was known to spin fantastic tales that were hard to believe, but then, after thinking you had been fed a complete line of “BS,” you’d find out what he said was pretty much true!!!  He will be fondly remembered for the stories he told, as well as his many “Lylisms” and “Lyle Life Hacks,” including “A man’s not worth a damn if he doesn’t carry a sharp knife.”

A husband, father, and grandfather, Lyle was devoted to Diane and would do anything he could to help his kids. He loved his brothers, his sister, his parents, and nieces and nephews. Lovingly called “Pop-Pop” by his grandchildren, Lyle would do goofy things to make them laugh including watching cartoons with them and quoting lines from “Sponge Bob.” He was a big teddy bear with an even bigger heart for his family and friends.  Lyle just wanted everyone to be happy.  He was a kind-hearted man, humble, patient, and content with the simple pleasures in life. On Thursday, October 14, 2021, God opened the gates and let Lyle through.  He will be fondly remembered and sadly missed by all who knew and loved him.

Surviving is his wife, Diane Grainger-Cole of Onaway; daughters, Kelly (Mark) Urlaub of Cheboygan and Kathy Grainger of Onaway; sons, Buddy (Jamie) Davis of Gaylord, Kevin (Jessica) Cole of Millersburg, and Kyle (Jennifer) Vargas of Traverse City; his grandchildren, Drew, Derek, Kaileeya, Casey, Austin, Jackson, T.J., Mason, Addy, Kaden, Layla, Ali Jo, Ella, Chelsea, Bradly, Harmony, Harper and Abram.  Lyle also leaves his sister, Terrie (George) Olsen of Jackson, Missouri; brothers, Douglas Cole Jr. of Alaska and Eddie Cole of Onaway; father-in-law, Howard

(Joyce) Grainger of Onaway; as well as his in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins, and many friends, including his lifelong buddies, Jim Palomaris and Andy Shaloy.

Lyle was preceded in death by his parents, Doug and Jean Cole; brothers, Clayton and Virgil Cole; sister-in-law, Janice Cole; grandson, Noah; a nephew, Christopher; mother-in-law, Dorene Grainger; and a special friend, “Nana” Helen DeRosia.

A graveside service was held Monday, October 18, at Hillcrest Cemetery in Onaway. The Rev. James Brabson officiated and the Onaway Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5857 had military honors. 

Those planning an expression of sympathy please consider a donation in memory of Lyle to help with final expenses.