Sky Scene 07

Carole Sue (Branson) Cole

March 30, 1940 ~ May 15, 2021 (age 81)



Carole Sue Cole, of Bland, Mo., was born March 30, 1940. She died on May 15, 2021, at the age of 81.

Sue is preceded in death by her husband, Wayman Eugene Cole, and her parents, Ralph and Mildred Branson.  She leaves behind her sons, Larry Basham and wife Becky, and Loren Basham and wife Lenice, as well as her two grandchildren, Cori Daniels and her husband David, and Cole Basham and his wife Brianna, and two great-grandchildren, Camri Jones and Alison Daniels. She also leaves behind her beloved cat, Smudge.

Sue was an active member of the Zion Evangelical Church in Bland, Mo. She served the Bland Alumni Association for 40 years.  She was a proud Bland High School graduate. She also served for many years on the Whispering Oaks Estates board of directors. She enjoyed trips to the casino, bulldogs, having coffee with her friends in the morning, shopping for deals, reading non-fiction, and watching birds at her house.

Sue loved mules and donkeys. In 1990, Sue bought Mules and More Magazine, published monthly for mule and donkey enthusiasts. Though small when she started, she traveled across the country meeting subscribers and promoting the mule and donkey industry, and grew the magazine into a worldwide publication. She never met a stranger, and she made personal connections with nearly every subscriber. People would constantly tell her that, though they had never met, they felt like she was family, thanks to the monthly editorials she wrote each month.

Sue spent many years leading rides at the Cross Country Trail Rides in Eminence, Mo. She also was a member of the North American Saddle Mule Association, of which she helped in various positions. She was involved in the process of making the mule the Missouri state animal. She rarely missed her yearly trip to the Chuckwagon Races in Arkansas. But most of all, she loved her family. And when you combined her family and animals, she was the happiest. She was always willing to drive hundreds of miles and wait hours and hours for the chance to watch them run an 18-second barrel pattern. 

Sue believed in living a full life- full of love, family and her favorite mules. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to the Bland Alumni Association Scholarship or the NASMA Youth Scholarship. 

Visitation for Sue will be on Tuesday, May 18, 2021 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Sassmann’s Chapel in Bland.

Funeral Services will be held Wednesday, May 19, 2021 at the Zion Evangelical Church in Bland beginning at 11:00 a.m. Interment will follow in the Bland Union Cemetery.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Carole Sue (Branson) Cole, please visit our floral store.


May 18, 2021

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Sassmann's Bland
107 Ray Street
Bland, MO 65014

Funeral Service
May 19, 2021

11:00 AM
Zion Evangelical Free Church
400 North Sycamore
Bland, MO 65014

May 19, 2021

12:00 PM
Bland Union Cemetery
Highway B
Bland, MO 65014

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