John J. Kole

    John J. Kole, 92, of Lawton, died peacefully, June 4, 2019, at Maple Lake Assisted Living, Paw Paw. John was born July 7, 1926, in Grand Rapids, MI, the son of Abraham and Martha (Stegink) Kole.
    John proudly served in the Navy during World War II and Korea and later became a member of the Lawton American Legion and Decatur Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). Together,  with his high school sweetheart, Betty, they enjoyed summers on Gravel Lake, Lawton, mushroom hunting in northern Michigan, and teaching their three children the value of hard work and quality family time.
    John enjoyed a career as a machine repairman at Fuller Transmission and took great pride in serving his community, particularly as a member of the Lawton Fire Department since 1948.
    John was preceded in death by his wife, Betty; daughter and son-in-law, Patricia (Don) Salvaggio; and his brother, Carl Kole.
    Surviving are his children,  John D. (Roberta) Kole and Kathy (Michael) Jones; six grandchildren, Joe (Tracy) Salvaggio, Brian (Tracy) Salvaggio, Katrina (Brian) Maher, Karrie (Justin Kling) Kole, Dani (Casey Minter) Jones, and Michelle (Seth) Hansen; five great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; one sister, Doris Welling; brother-in-law, Steven Price; and several nieces and nephews.
    Visit with family and friends Monday, June 10, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Betzler & Thompson Life Story Funeral Home, 60900 M-40 Highway, Paw Paw, (269) 657-3870, where services will be held Tuesday, June 11, at 10 a.m.  Burial with military and fire department honors will take place at Oak Grove Cemetery, Lawton, with a luncheon to follow at the Lawton Fire Department, 125 N. Main St.
    Visit John’s personal webpage at, to read  his story, archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook.
    Memorial contributions may be made to the Lawton Fire Association or Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.


The Courier-Leader & Paw Paw Flashes

The Courier-Leader & Paw Paw Flashes
32280 E. Red Arrow Hwy. • P.O. Box 129
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-5080

Email Us

Facebook Pinterest