James Andrew Coley

James Andrew Coley

James Andrew Coley
February 28, 1942 – May 15, 2020

WENDELL – James Andrew Coley, 78, passed away on Friday. He was born in Wake County to the late Jim and Kate Hill Coley. He worked as an electrical engineer for Progress Energy. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by two sisters, Josephine Renfro and Mary Haughton Young.

He is survived by his wife, Jayne Coley; son, Jason Coley; grandson, Logan Coley Tatum and sister, Katherine Puryear.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina, https://www.boysandgirlshomes.org/donate

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Arrangements with Strickland Funeral Home, 211 W. Third St., Wendell.


  • Elizabeth ann cole Posted May 15, 2020 6:29 pm

    Ronnie and Ann Cole of Middlesex send our thoughts of love and comfort to you and your family

  • Debbie Jenks Byrne Posted May 15, 2020 8:10 pm

    So very sorry to hear of Sonny’s passing. So many fond memories from my CP&L days working with him. He made my days fun and filled them with laughter. RIP Sonny! Sending thoughts and prayers to his Family🙏

  • Barbara Fulghum Posted May 15, 2020 8:17 pm

    Sending Prayers. James was an awesome person. So Very Sorry For Your Loss.

  • Larry and Linda Boyer Posted May 15, 2020 9:12 pm

    Jayne, Jason:. We are so very sad to hear of Sonny’s passing. He was such a good friend for so many years. He was a one of a kind and we are so glad to have enjoyed him. He will be missed by us and hundreds of people that remember him as as a great friend. Love y’all.

  • Barbara Debnam Posted May 16, 2020 8:35 am

    Jayne and family so sorry to hear about Sonny’s passing. I always enjoyed him coming over to my son Michael’s house. He was always making us laugh.i remember when he was Little Sonny Coley on the JimThornton Show. Sonny was one of a kind. He will be missed by many.

  • Frances and Ricky Byrd Posted May 16, 2020 10:33 am

    I’m so sorry, Jayne and Jason. Sonny added joy to our family as well as many othes. Like my dad I remember Sonny visiting at the jewelry store and always had a cigar in his mouth. The heavens sound more beautiful today with Sonny’s voice. Will be lifting you and your family up in prayer.

  • Jerry Rose Posted May 16, 2020 12:10 pm

    I will miss him. I have not seen Sonny in a long time
    He brought smiles to a lot of us. I will keep you and Jason in my prayers, Jayne.

  • Joan Wood Clark Posted May 16, 2020 12:30 pm

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time. He surely will be missed.
    Joan & JIm Clark ( CP&L co-workers)

  • Lyn Massey Posted May 16, 2020 3:26 pm

    Dear Coley Family,
    Sonny and I worked together at CP&L. He was always upbeat and kind and enjoyed a good laught. Saw him around town and very much enjoyed chatting. May you be comforted in the loss of Sonny. Will miss him!

  • Phillip R Smith Posted May 16, 2020 3:57 pm

    Sonny Coley was such a good friend, we shared so many memories in the past 30+ years. We traveled a lot, those times will always be so special to myself and my wife, Brenda. We will never forget our trip to Iowa with Sonny and Jayne, gambling trips, out to eat on Sundays, card games. Our trip across Country, and into Mexico, such great times. Sonny will never, ever be forgotten!! We love you Buddy!! Phillip and Brenda

  • Brenda & Jimmy Lewis Posted May 16, 2020 9:06 pm

    Prayers & much love to Jayne, Jason & Logan & all the family. Heaven gained a “special angel”, our sweet neighbor & friend, Sonny Coley. Thank you, Sonny for being YOU, such a GREAT GUY sharing your music, love for everyone. Very Special, gonna miss you, buddy!! Rest in eternal peace. We will see you again, our friend..

  • Julia and Joe Ledford Posted May 16, 2020 9:56 pm

    Jayne and Jason, we just heard about your loss – and indeed Wendell’s loss. Our hearts are saddened by Sonny’s passing and will always hold cherished memories in our hearts. We will hope to be able to celebrate his life with you when that is possible. Sonny’s memory deserves a Wendell blessing because he has blessed his home town in many ways.

  • Rhonda Barbour Posted May 17, 2020 3:50 pm

    We loved you and will miss you. You will be with so much family . Your wife and son will be prayed for.

  • Henry “Hank” Mattocks Posted May 17, 2020 4:16 pm

    Sorry for your loss Sonny was a true friend of my’s he was the first true friend 45 plus years that I meet when I was hired by CP&L. He taught me how to dap with the brothers, he was my brother from a different mother. He never judged a man by the the color of his skin but the heart. I will miss his clowning around and greetings me with the old hand dap. To you and Jason keep the faith and keep following Jesus the Christ. Love you both. Hank & Rev. Cynthia Mattocks

  • Lindsay Johnson Posted May 18, 2020 1:26 am

    Mrs. Coley and Jason, I am praying you both find peace. You are two of the strongest people I know and I am so grateful for you. Sending lots of love and prayers your way.


  • Mark Fortier, Alli Wasle, Elizabeth Fox, Amanda Dworznicki Posted May 18, 2020 11:12 am

    Jayne, We are devastated to hear of Sonny’s passing. We always looked forward to him popping in the office to visit. He was a ray of sunshine and always left us with a smile. He was one-of-a-kind and is greatly missed. Prayers and hugs to you and the rest of the family.

  • Steve Banks Posted May 18, 2020 11:40 am

    Great guy and one of a kind with many talents

  • Dawn Todd Woods Posted May 18, 2020 12:53 pm

    Sonny was always a comical gentleman and his laughter made CP&L a fun place to work! Til we meet again my singing friend!

  • Linsey Mohlenhoff Posted May 18, 2020 1:51 pm

    He will forever be missed and bless his family, extended family and adopted family. This wonderful man never knew a stranger and all that knew him loved him!!

  • John “Turkey” Myers Posted May 18, 2020 3:06 pm

    I imagine Saint Peter is having a jam session with Sonny and the music will bring joy to all. Sonny and I matched wits over music trivia during our CP&L/Progress days and it was a joy to lose to him. [Music was more fun than engineering issues to focus our time on] My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this time and I thank them for sharing Sonny and his positive attitude with us during his life.

  • Carson and Brenda Earp Jones Posted May 18, 2020 3:51 pm

    We are sorry for your loss. All of are in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Richard Smith Posted May 18, 2020 8:24 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of Sonny’s death. We were friends at CP&L for over 25 years and even after those years. Sonny was always kind, always funny. He will be missed by many. Prayers to Sonny’s family.

  • Judy Raybon Posted May 19, 2020 6:04 am

    So sorry to hear of Sonny passing I always loved running into him in town . I remember the Christmas program at Covenant when he played one of the wise men and sang . He always made people laugh

  • Debbie Horne Bruening Posted May 19, 2020 3:55 pm

    I am so sad about Sonny’s passing. He was one of the finest people I’ve ever known. He was so funny with his jokes and puns. He had a nickname for everyone and had a deep integrity. I will miss him. Prayers for the family. He loved you very much.

  • Vickie Lewis Clay Posted May 19, 2020 11:14 pm

    I loved Sonny Coley. He was so funny, talented, generous, caring and loyal. Those days in Hephzibah’s Choir with Gene/Carol Yeargin are filled with soooo many memories of songs sung and moments that will never be matched, never be forgotten. We have walked and talked a hundred miles. Sonny’s gift of gab, the millions of lyrics stored in his brain ~ just the tip of the iceberg of the truly amazing man he was. He was incredibly generous to my family when my Mom was being treated at Johns Hopkins. You could never outgive him and he did that giving with a quiet humbleness that was quite the opposite of his bubbly outgoing personality. Sonny and I loved singing together ~ weddings, funerals, Christmas parties, church specials/revivals & just because. Sonny, give my Daddy a hug and tell him “Daddy Hands” is still our song. Save a place for me in that Heavenly choir, I want to be singing beside you with Gene directing. I will miss you, dear friend… forever.

  • Joe sutton Posted May 21, 2020 10:54 am

    Jane and family, Sonny was a true great friend. I will miss him everyday. If you ever need anything, please call on us.

  • Jeanne Poole Posted May 25, 2020 9:00 pm

    Jayne and family. Just learned of Sonny’s passing and send my thoughts and prayers. A smile is what I think of when I think of Sonny- always a smile. I will always remember the many special memories from all of our years together at school. Will see you at his celebration of life.

  • Larry Nixon Posted May 26, 2020 12:38 am

    Just heard about Sonny from Amaryallis Rehder, Wayne Lanier’s wife. So sorry. Wayne and I played with Sonny in the original Tassels Combo. Sonny was a very talented lead singer and songwriter. I had interaction with Sonny, later professionally,

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