“It’s a sad day in Fulton,” said Fulton Mayor Jimmy Kendrick after hearing the news longtime Fulton mayor Leslie E. Cole, Sr., 81, had died.
He passed away Wednesday, June 26.
Cole, who everyone knew by a single name - “Googles” - was the face of Fulton and the voice of Fulton Oysterfest.
He served as Fulton’s mayor for 22 years.
Aransas County Judge and lifelong county resident C.H. “Burt” Mills said, “Googles has been a family friend and personal friend my entire life.
“We have lost a real icon in Aransas County, and especially Fulton.
“He’ll always be remembered as the father of Oysterfest.
“We’ll miss him dearly.”
Cole had been in bad health in recent months, but was able to attend the Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet, 20 days before his death, where he was honored as a Hometown Hero. Cole could not walk to the stage to accept his award, so his son, Russel, stepped up and accepted the award on his father’s behalf.
“I’m so glad he was recognized that night, even though he couldn’t physically accept his plaque,” said Aransas County Emergency Management Coordinator, Fulton Police Chief, former chief of the Rockport Volunteer Fire Department, and lifelong Fulton resident Rick McLester.
“I’m at a loss for words.
“I don’t know of anyone who was a bigger supporter of Fulton. He always put Fulton first, and probably the Fulton Volunteer Fire Department second.
“Googles was the godfather of Oysterfest and a community leader.
“He will be sorely missed.”
Kendrick said, “When you lose someone of his magnitude, you can’t replace him. It will take more than one person.
“I’ve always liked and admired him. He had some real experiences, which were invaluable.
“He gave his heart and soul to Fulton.”
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, July 1 at Fulton Community Church.
Visitation is planned at the Fulton Volunteer Fire Department from 5-7 p.m. Saturday, June 29, and 2-4 p.m. Sunday, June 30.
The family will be there at those times to receive friends.
Note: Cole’s official obituary was received after this edition of The Rockport Pilot was sent to press. It was posted on the Pilot’s website (www.rockportpilot.com) and Facebook page Friday, June 28.