John Cole

John W. Cole

May 21, 1934 - December 26, 2017

"May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back May the sunshine warm your face, the rain fall soft upon your fields.."

Obituary of John W. Cole

John W. Cole III of Lockport, NY entered into rest on Tuesday, December 26, 2017. Born on May 21, 1934 in Lockport, he was the son of the late John W. and Cecile (Tracy) Cole Jr.

John began his career on February 16, 1958 with the Niagara County Sherriffs Department as a deputy Sherriff. John also received training in Chicago to be a polygraph examiner. John was trained in homicide investigation, child abuse and arson. John then moved up the ranks to Chief Investigator, he was founder and commander of the Child Abuse Task Force where he created 'Darby's Den', a place for abused children to feel safe. John was instrumental in creating the Niagara County Rape Crisis Task Force. John retired from the department on July 23, 1996. John also ran for the State Senator in 1994. He eventually went on to serve as Niagara County Legislator for two terms. After John's retirement, he worked as a gaming inspector at the Seneca Niagara Casino and then for the Board of Elections.
In the words of the former Sheriff Thomas Beilein, "When it comes to a child abuse case, John would not let go."

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Margaret A. (Chambers) Cole; father of Ann Kelly of Lockport, Kathleen (Michael) Prendergast of Richmond, VA, Molly (Michael) Lane of Kent, NY, John W. Cole IV of Buffalo, Patricia 'Tibby' (Robert) Jacobs of Lagro, IND, Bridget Cole of Clarence, NY and the late Maureen T. Miller; grandfather of 15 grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild; brother of Paul (Lynn) Cole and Mary Lou Riley. Also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Friends may call at Provenzano Memorial Chapel, Transit and Niagara Sts (same location as Taylor and Reynolds Funeral Home at 70 Niagara Street) on Friday from 4-8 PM, Funeral Service will be held on Saturday morning at 11 AM. Condolences may be offered below, and flowers may be purchased through The Flower Barn.


  1. Barbara Schlossel on December 28, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    To Margaret and family……my heart is saddened…sooo many memories!!!

  2. Bob Ginty on December 30, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Although I hadn’t seen John in years, I will always consider him a mentor and a friend. I reside in Texas now so will not be able to attend services. I just want the family to know they are in my thoughts. Rest In Peace, John.

  3. Mary Lawson Benze on January 11, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    Margaret, Paul, and Mary Lou, I just heard about John’s death. Please accept my condolences and prayers for your family. I’m glad I had a chance to reconnect with John in recent years. Lots of good memories as kids especially summers in Lakewood. Love, Mary

  4. Dolores Lawson Kellett on January 11, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    To all the family of John, My sincere sympathy and prayers. I have several good memories of our childhood together in Lakewood and Lockport. John wrote a lovely tribute to my Dad at the time of his death as they had a special bond. Love, Dolores

  5. Kathleen Prendergast on February 2, 2019 at 1:34 am

    Dad. You are a legend. I miss you.

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