Frank Kendall Cole, of Littleton, died on May 22, 2019 in Littleton, Colorado at the age of 76. Frank and his wife Ginny retired to Colorado after a 28-year career in the military, during which they had lived in many beautiful coastal towns. Moving to the Centennial State brought them closer to children and grandchildren and became a base for their volunteer work with various organizations focused on spiritually encouraging military families and training international military chaplains.
Frank was born in Lowell, MA on December 1, 1942 and raised in Bloomfield, CT by parents Marion and Howard Cole, Frank attended Bloomfield HS, and enlisted in the Navy at the age of 17. A pivotal event of his early time in the Navy was time spent with the ship’s Chaplain who introduced Frank to Jesus. This faith would continue and grow into one of the most important aspects of his life. After 3 years of service and travel, Frank left the Navy to attend Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, TN where he met a dark-haired beauty from Washington State, Virginia Lee Wrye. Frank and Ginny married on August 29, 1964 in Tacoma, WA and headed back east to begin their life together. After a brief time living in Tennessee and Newport, RI Frank decided to go back to the military, enlisting in the Coast Guard and eventually making the decision to join the officer ranks, graduating from Officers Candidate School Yorktown, VA and then Naval Flight School Pensacola, FL.
In 1969 Ensign Cole, with Ginny and their 2 small daughters, moved to Seaside, Oregon where Frank began his career as a search and rescue helicopter pilot. While in Seaside their son was born, and the family traveled the country with Frank serving at stations in Mobile, AL, Cape Cod, MA, Barbers Point, HI, Arcata, CA, and finally in New London, CT at the Coast Guard Academy. During his time in Mobile, Frank and his helicopter crew traveled by icebreaker to Greenland, Iceland and the Alaskan Arctic, and stories from those trips were some of his favorites to share. While stationed at the CG Academy Frank and Ginny spent many hours mentoring and just being ‘family’ to many cadets, and Frank loved attending concerts and getting to know the musicians in the Coast Guard Band. More than all the experiences of his career, Frank cherished the friendships with fellow Coasties and stayed in close contact with many throughout his life.
In each town they lived, Frank and the family were quick to become part of the community through involvement in local churches, Bible study groups, and the kid’s schools. Frank was an ever-present fixture at activities and recitals, and at games was always befriending fellow parents and boisterously supportive of the home team.
Commander Cole retired from his military service in the summer of 1989. Frank and his family had had adventures to last a life time, but he and Ginny were about to embark on a second half to rival the first.
After a year at Capenwray Bible School in Carnforth, England, the Cole’s settled in Colorado and were soon immersed in grandparenthood. Frank was an incredible and dedicated Grandfather, over the years taking different combinations of his 9 grandchildren on many adventures camping in tents, in his motor home, fishing, hiking, traveling to places around the country and internationally. He loved to take them out for a meal, asking questions about their lives and telling stories of his years as a pilot. He and Ginny spent many hours at the kid’s games, concerts, recitals, and art exhibitions.
Frank also volunteered his time with Officers Christian Fellowship (OCF), Christian Military Fellowship (CMF), and ACCTS a ministry focused on building leaders and military Christian fellowships worldwide. With all of these organizations he spent time encouraging military believers and their families and connecting them to local Bible studies and training opportunities. During his time at ACCTS, Frank was largely responsible for initiating and spearheading the international military chaplain training programs conducted jointly by ACCTS and the International Association of Evangelical Chaplains (IAEC), an organization for which Frank also sat on the board. Frank and Ginny had a passion for ministry in Africa and through travels with ACCTS and other involvement spent time in countries such as Mali, Uganda, South Africa, Cameroon, and most recently Nigeria in the fall of 2018.
Frank is survived by his wife of 55 years, Virginia; his sister Jan (Deborah Abraham) of Berkeley, CA; his daughters Lisa (Neil Holsteen) and Laura (Brian Molzahn) both of Littleton; his son Jonathan (Mariya) of Gig Harbor, WA; his grandchildren Ian, Erin, Kate, William, James, Ellen, Bryn, Liam and Elle.
Memorial Service will be 1pm Friday, June 21, 2019 at Grace Chapel 8505 S Valley Hwy, Englewood, CO with a reception to follow.; A private burial was held Thursday, May 30, 2019 at Fort Logan National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you donate to ACCTS in Frank’s honor. Go to http://www.accts.org, click on donate and follow the appropriate prompts.