Tollie Boyce Cole, MD

August 18, 1937 - February 12, 2020
Tollie Boyce Cole, MD

Tollie Boyce Cole, MD, age 82, passed away peacefully in Wilmington on Wednesday, February 12, 2020.

He was born on August 18, 1937 in Rockingham, North Carolina, son of Tollie Benson Cole and Jessie Beasley Cole.

He was a three sport All-State athlete at New Hanover High School. He attended The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for his undergraduate and medical school education. He completed his residency in Ear Nose and Throat at The University of California at San Francisco.

He returned to North Carolina in 1969 and spent 22 years as a professor at Duke University Medical Center. He then opened an ENT practice in Southport where he continued to live until his death.

He is survived by his three sons, Eric (Wendy) of League City, Texas, Marc (Tracy) of Holly Springs, North Carolina, and Christopher (Alison) of Hurdle Mills, North Carolina and their mother, Genevieve Lowry Cole of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He is also survived by three granddaughters, Reese, Ayden and Riley and his brothers Jimmy (Martha) of Springfield, Virginia, Jack (Jackie) of Swannanoa, North Carolina, Homer (Lynn) of Richmond, Virginia, and his sister Patricia Ellis (Bob Carcro) of Wilmington, North Carolina. He was predeceased by his sister Barbara Jane Inman and his brother Jerry Earl Cole.
The visitation originally scheduled for March 28, 2020 at Dorothy Cruse Memorial Chapel, 4795 Fish Factory Road in Southport, North Carolina from 1:30-3:30 has been postponed until a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a charity of one’s choice.

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Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S.41st Street Wilmington, NC 28403. 910.791.9099.

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  • February 19, 2020
    Dr. Ray Cameron says:
    Dr. Cole was one of my mentors at Duke during the mid eighties. My experience learning from him had a tremendous influence on my career. I can still hear his voice! Yes, he made complex surgery look easy. He also had a sixth sense. He would show up unexpectedly when a patient and the resident doctors needed him the most. My fellow residents and I held his surgical and clinical skills in the highest regard!

  • February 21, 2020
    Lambros C. Rigas says:
    I am sadden to hear of Boyce’s repose. I was one of his classmates at UNC and found Boyce to be a charismatic & caring person. We did enjoy many spirited times With many of our colleagues. I extend my sympathy & prayers to his family. May the Lord welcome him in paradise. Lambros Rigas, M.D.

  • February 26, 2020
    Karen Poston Stark says:
    I met Dr. Cole 33 years ago when I came to work at Duke, and enjoyed working in the same suite with him and Smitty, sharing humor for years until he moved his practice to Southport. It sure wasn't the same after that! My sympathies to Chris, Eric, Mark, and the rest of the family during this sad time. It's uncanny that I was just thinking of him on my drive home from work a couple days ago, and just received the news today. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  • March 22, 2020
    Deborah E Baker says:
    I first met Dr. COLE IN 1969 AT Duke Hospital where he performed my 1st ear surgery when I was 15 years old. He was so nice to me and helpful. I never forgot him and how he made me feel as a teenager needing help. So sorry to hear about his death.

  • April 20, 2020
    Faye says:
    I was a friend to the Cole family for many years ... neighborhood and church. Boyce was an outstanding scholar and friend ... and became an outstanding doctor. Rest In Peace, dear friend!