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1947 Duane 2023

Duane L. Cole

November 16, 1947 — February 22, 2023

Duane L. Cole of Carbondale passed away peacefully at his home in Carbondale on February 22, 2023, holding the hand of his husband, Joe Powers.

Duane was born in Hammond, Indiana, on November 16, 1947; his life was an adventure. He grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago but spent most of his childhood summers with various relatives in Southern Illinois, learning how to hunt and plow a straight furrow from his Uncle Melvin Douthit. Duane always said he had one foot firmly planted in the city and the other on the farm.

Duane spent many years working in the beauty industry. He owned his own salons in the Chicago area, managed a chain of salons in St. Louis, and worked for several beauty product manufacturers as an educator.

Later in his life, he enrolled at North Park University in Chicago to complete the degree which he’d started working on 37 years earlier; he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and immediately went on to earn a master’s degree in Community Development.

After completing his education, Duane worked for several social service agencies in the Chicago area that focused on housing the homeless, finding employment for ex-offenders, and working with low-income individuals to become financially literate.

After retirement, Duane moved to Carbondale to reconnect to his roots, and he made many new friends in this area. Duane lit up a room when he walked into it, and he always had at least one humorous story to tell. Some of them were even true.

Duane leaves behind his husband, numerous cousins and in-laws, three wonderful nonagenarian aunts – Mary Alice, Helen, and Tootie - who provided him with love and entertainment, and his faithful canine companion and caretaker, Miss Daisy Jane Cole-Powers.

A memorial gathering will be scheduled for a later date.

In lie of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of Southern Illinois.

Meredith Funeral Home in Carbondale is in charge of arrangements. To leave a story or memory of Duane, visit

To order memorial trees in memory of Duane L. Cole, please visit our tree store.


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