Thomas Henry Cole |

Thomas Henry Cole

The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

Thomas “Tom” Henry Cole died at home surrounded by his family including his wife, children, several grandchildren and two granddogs. He was a gentleman and a scholar and he will be greatly missed.

Tom was born in Chicago in 1921 to Leon and Dorothy Cole. He grew up in Pelham Manor, New York. Summer camp and summer jobs introduced him to the western United States, which he fell in love with and never looked back.

He went to Colorado School of Mines where he joined the ROTC and was an active member of the ATO fraternity, graduating in 1943 with a degree in mining engineering. He was a commissioned officer in the 10th Mountain Division, training at Camp Hale, Colo. Assigned to the 126th Combat Engineers, Company B, the division fought in Italy in the Apennines, Riva Ridge and Mount Belvedere. He received a field promotion to captain and was awarded the Bronze Star.

After his Army service, Tom began his career in the oil business, first as a roughneck, next as geologist and then as an independent operator. He and the family lived in Midland, Texas, for 20 marvelous, busy years. When the oil business began to slow, Tom turned to his original interests and education in mining, spending the rest of his career in that field. He took a job as president of New Idria Mining Company in Fresno, Calif., where the family lived for four years before coming to Denver, where he enjoyed his favorite activities; skiing, climbing mountains, hiking and working out at the downtown “Y.”

Tom met Constance Potter, from Houston during the summer of 1947, when he was a newly hired geologist living in Midland and she was an IFA on Pioneer Airlines. They were married in 1948, and lived happily together for 65 years. After Tom introduced her to skiing in 1950 they skied together until he was 86 and she was 82!

Tom is survived by his wife, Connie; sons Jess (Chris) of Ft. Worth, Texas and John (Hutton) of New Canaan, Conn.; daughter Kathryn of Centennial, Colo.; six outstanding grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. His son Matthew predeceased him.

There will be a memorial service Saturday, Feb. 9 at 11 a.m. at Wellshire Presbyterian Church, 2999 S. Colorado Blvd., Denver. Family and friends are invited to a reception immediately following the memorial service at the Cole residence. Memorial gifts may be made to the CSM Foundation, P.O. Box 4005, Golden, CO 80402.

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