Phyllis Sullivan Cole Norras

Phyllis Sullivan Cole Norras, 83, of Waycross, departed this world Saturday, March 27, 2021, after a long illness.  

She was born in 1937 outside of the city of Rock Hill in Chesterfield County SC, to the late Roy Columbus Sullivan and Faye Cato Sullivan. She graduated from Indian Land High School in 1955. She was an intellectually gifted student who loved reading. She graduated from Winthrop College for Women, now Winthrop University, in 1959 and she later earned a master’s degree in Education from Valdosta State University in 1994.

She married Howard A. Cole in 1960 in Port Royal, SC, while she was teaching English and history at Beaufort High School. With her husband and children, Joan, Howard Jr., Timothy and Debbie, she moved to Waycross in 1972. She was a homemaker for many years before returning to education at Patterson High School in 1981. She continued to work at Pierce County Middle and High Schools until her retirement in 2003.

In June of 2003, she married Milton Peter Norras at a beautiful ceremony at Trinity United Methodist Church in Waycross, her home church since 1974. She was a beloved member of the church. She served as a chaperone for many youth trips and choir performances her children participated in throughout the years.  She held numerous leadership positions on committees in the church. She worked with the United Methodist Women and was a member of the John Wesley Sunday School class, along with a ladies Sunday school class in the 1990s. She sang in the Chancel Choir and was involved with many choir cantatas in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. She was also a dedicated band parent, attending concerts and helping with fundraising efforts because all of her children played instruments as band students in the Waycross City School System and were music students at Valdosta State University.

She loved music and was very proud that her children are still dedicated musicians. She loved books, traveling, the beach, dogs, house plants, a funny story and intimate chats with friends. She loved quality entertainment, whether it was great singing or a good movie. She was witty, warm and engaging to everyone who knew her. She was a respected colleague in the Pierce County School System and served her students with compassion and patience. She was committed to family by maintaining relationships with her siblings, nieces, nephews, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law and her strong Christian faith was an example to everyone in her life.

Along with her parents, she was preceded in death by her brother, Lindo Sullivan, her first husband, Howard Cole and her son, Howard Cole Jr.

Survivors include her husband of 18 years, Milton Norras, Waycross; one brother Charles Sullivan and his wife Patricia Sullivan, Arab, AL; two daughters, Joan Cole, Augusta, Debra Cole, Atlanta; one son, Tim Cole and his wife Stacy, St. Louis, MO; one step-daughter, Sarah Lynn Tarr and her husband Terry, Blackshear; one step-son, Charles Norras, Savannah; grandchildren, Sam Cole, Joe Cole, Lucy Cole, St. Louis, MO, Julia Harris (Cole), Atlanta; step-grandchildren, Sarah Elizabeth Tarr Gove and her husband Jeremy and John Isaac Tarr, both of Blackshear, Lela Norras, Atlanta and Joel Norras, Hilton Head Island, SC; a great-granddaughter, Avery Kate Gove, Blackshear and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives in South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi.

Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. Monday, March 29, at the funeral home.

Funeral services will be held at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 30, from the Trinity United Methodist Church in Waycross.

Interment will follow in Oakland Cemetery.

Sympathy may be expressed by signing online at

Miles-Odum Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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