Mary Jane Cole


A beautiful event occurred recently that we, the children of Mary Jane Cole, want to share with everyone. We feel blessed to report that God’s angels visited our mother and escorted her through the gates of Heaven, where she once again joined her mother, Rose Stella, her father Guiseppe, her brother John, her sister, Virginia, her husband, Eddie, her best friend and cousin, Fannie, her loving companion of later years, Tom Spadafora, and countless others who knew her during her lifetime on earth.
Mary Jane was born in Richmond, Indiana, on August 11, 1929. Her parents were Italian-born Guiseppe (Joseph) Stella and Rose (Nufrio) Stella. She grew up in the 1930s and 1940s surrounded by her parents, brothers and sister, grandparents, many aunts and uncles and countless cousins in a truly loving, Catholic, Italian family atmosphere.
She married very young in life and is survived by her four children: James (Jim) [Lyn] Cole of Phoenix, Arizona; Shirley [Larry Hutchison] Smith of Richmond; Timothy (Tim) [Terri] Cole of Elyria, Ohio; and Patrick (Pat) [Sondra] Cole of Sheffield Lake, Ohio. Also surviving are her 10 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; one great-great grandchild; and a brother, William Thomas (Tommy) Stella [Shirley Ann]; Patricia Cole, daughter-in-law, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Remembering our mother means reliving a life filled with happiness and laughter. We fondly look back at the Sunday dinners with both the Italian half of the family and the southern, Cole, side of the family. The laughter we all shared at the outside games we played after eating way too much and then ending the day sitting around the table playing cards and joking and telling stories are some of the memories we share together when we talk about our mother.
Late in life Mary Jane suffered a time of loneliness and depression after her husband passed away; but God once more blessed her by uniting her with her childhood friend, Tom Spadafora. They spent many wonderful years together until our mother suffered a debilitating stroke. She spent the last years of her life at the Forest Park Health Campus. Shirley was with her until the very last day. Tom Spadafora continued to call her every day and visit her when he could, until his death.
Mother had only one wish, and a promise, she shared with each of us. Her wish was that she not have to bury any of her four children. Her promise was that she would hold a place in Heaven for the entire family and that we would all be joined there once again to eat too much, play and laugh and tell stories. We did our part. She is survived by her four children and their families. And we know that she is doing her part.
Private services will be at a later date at the convenience of the family. Shortly thereafter we will have one more time together to talk, share stories about Mother, and laugh the way we all did when she lived.
Mary Jane Cole wished to be cremated. Her daughter Shirley will take care of her remains in death just as she took care of Mother in life and, as agreed between them, when her daughter passes away, Mary Jane will be buried with Shirley.
Memorial contributions may be sent to St. Jude’s hospital or your favorite charity in honor of our mother, Mary Jane Cole.
Rejoice with us as we remember the best mother that four children could ever have been granted by a loving and caring God.
Stegall Berheide Orr Funeral Service is in charge of her services. Condolences may be sent to the family via the guest book at
We want to thank Forest Park Health Campus personnel for taking care of Mother all the years she was in residence there. They are truly caring individuals; as well as Premier Hospice.