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Judith "Judy" DuPriest Cole
June 14, 2024


Judith DuPriest Cole, 83 of Tifton, GA died June 14 with her loving children at her side. Judy was born at home in Sylvester, GA on December 22, 1940, to Raymond and Rosa Polhill DuPriest. Judy graduated from Sylvester High School in1958 where she was the school’s first homecoming queen. She continued her education at The University of Georgia where she was a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority and graduated in 1962 with a degree in home economics education. While in Athens she met her beloved husband John Rufus Cole Jr. They were married for 55 years up until John’s passing in 2019. The couple was deeply proud of and loyal to their alma mater and Judy was an avid and enthusiastic Georgia Bulldog throughout her life.

After graduation, Judy taught school in Savannah before marrying John on August 15, 1964. She worked as an extension home economist in Oconee County while John completed his PHD at UGA. The couple moved to Tifton, GA in 1966 where they remained for the rest of their lives.

Above all else, Judy cherished her faith and precious time with her family. She joined First United Methodist Church in Tifton in 1967 and was an active leader in her church throughout the remainder of her life. She was a proud member of the Searchers Sunday School class, taught Sunday School, Vacation Bible school and the Joy Company Clowns at FUMC. She also served on the Board of Trustees and chaired the parsonage committee, was a club 55 kitchen volunteer, a 30-year church kitchen volunteer and taught Precept Bible Study. In addition to church life, Judy was a civic leader serving as President of the Tifton Junior Woman’s Club, on the board of the Big brothers and Big Sisters, a member of the Magnolia Garden Club, and a Meals on Wheels volunteer for over 20 years. She was also deeply engaged in her children’s youth sports and school activities from the earliest ages through Tift County High School and later served as President of the Kappa Alpha Theta Mother’s Club at UGA.

Judy loved being with her many friends who are too numerous to name, she loved her Bible studies, playing bridge, cooking, the Friday Night Group, and was a passionate gardener working in her yard as recently as this week.

Most of all, Judy cherished precious time and gatherings with her family. After years of being an active and loving Mother to Rae and Jay and serving as a second Mother to all their friends, she enthusiastically embraced her name change to “Mema” when her grandchildren arrived. Judy was there for birthdays, sporting events, graduations etc. and especially enjoyed having all the family together on holidays, and special occasions whether at home, at the farm or on vacations. She truly had a strong and meaningful relationship with all her grandchildren and is the primary reason they each remain so close to one another.

In addition to her parents and her husband John, Judy was predeceased by her beloved sister Mary Lou “Sistee” DuPriest Williams and her brother John Raymond “Bingo” DuPriest.

Judy is survived by an adoring family including her two children John Rufus “Jay” Cole III (Christie) of Albany and Rae Cole Knox (John O.) of Atlanta; five grandchildren John Rufus Cole IV (Anna) of Atlanta, Virginia Cole Peek (Guy) of Columbus, Mariana Cole “Mari Cole” Knox of Avon, CO, Harriet McEachern Knox of Charleston, SC, and John O’Donnell Knox III of Atlanta; and great granddaughter Mary Manning Cole of Atlanta.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Tifton on Monday, June 17, 2024, with the Rev. Chip Grantham officiating. The family will host a visitation from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the church social hall prior to the service.

Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Searchers Sunday School Class of Tifton's First United Methodist Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to First United Methodist Church of Tifton, 107 West 12th Street, Tifton, GA 31794.

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420 Love Avenue
Tifton, GA 31794