Judy B. Shell Cole

Published 3:49 pm Monday, May 23, 2022

Judy B. Shell Cole was born in 1940 to Carrie Lee and Carl Shell in Banner Elk, N.C. (both deceased.) She lived her early years happily in the Central Community in Johnson City. She married the love and joy of her life, Leslie Cole, in 1958. They lived in eight states from California to Virginia and in Germany when Leslie moved as an Army officer.
She is survived by three wonderful children, Cheri Cole-Jenkins (Dale), Cincinnati, Ohio, Shonna Cole, Knoxville, and Jason Leslie Cole (Amy), Garland, Texas; four grandchildren, Carrie Cate Jenkins Rathgeb, Laura Leslie Jenkins Reed, John M. Bollenbacher and Miriya Bollenbacher; and three great-grandchildren, Lennox Cole Rathgeb, Zara Rathgeb and Evelyn Reed. Judy had beloved friends whom she loved in Tennessee, Florida and in Europe.
Judy attended Happy Valley High School and graduated from Training School (now University School) in 1958. She also studied anthropology in Heidelberg, Germany, received her Nursing degree at East Tennessee University, and her Nurse Practitioner degree from University of Kansas Medical School in Kansas City, Kansas. She was Board certified in both Ob-Gyn and Family Practice and worked in Tennessee, Virginia, Missouri and Kansas. She taught in the Registered Nurse Program at East Tennessee State University and taught occasional classes in the Ob-Gyn department of the Quillen Medical School in its early years. Most of her practitioner time was spent caring for the poor in the Appalachian Mountains. She obtained a grant and established an Ob-Gyn clinic for underserved patients that became the pattern for the state of Tennessee obstetrical care standards. She loved her patients and fought for quality care for them.
Judy and Leslie spent their retirement years living in Florida in the winter and Johnson City in summer. They acquired their love of travel when living in Germany in the 1960s. They traveled extensively visiting all 50 states and 68 countries. Their favorite places were Ireland and Bavaria. When the ravages of age made independent travel difficult, they traveled via cruise ships, enjoying the company of each other as much as the world around them. Judy’s hobbies included reading, gourmet cooking, entertaining and spending time with her family.
Funeral services for Judy B. Shell Cole will be conducted at noon Tuesday, May 24, in the chapel of Tetrick Funeral Services. Interment will follow at 1 p.m. at Happy Valley Memorial Park with family members and friends serving as pallbearers. The Cole Family will receive friends at the funeral home on Tuesday after 11 a.m. until the hour of service. Memories and condolences may be shared at www.tetrickfuneralhome.com.
Tetrick Funeral Services, 3001 Peoples Street, Johnson City, TN 37604 (423-610-7171) is honored to serve the Cole Family.

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