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Emeritus Professor of Political Science George Cole Dies

George Fraser Cole, professor emeritus of political science, died at home in Mansfield, Conn. on June 10, after a long and spirited fight against Parkinson’s disease. He was 80.

Cole was born in Plainville, Mass. on March 18, 1935 to Stanley and Rubena Cole, immigrants from Nova Scotia, Canada.

After graduating from the University of Massachusetts in 1956, he served in the U.S. Air Force as a navigator with an air-refueling wing of Strategic Air Command. His military service completed, he went back to school and earned a master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington.

In 1957, Cole married Joan Louise Washburn, and in 1965 the couple moved with their two young sons to Meadville, Pa., where Cole taught at Allegheny College. Four years later, the family moved to Storrs, where he joined the faculty of the Department of Political Science of the University of Connecticut.

Cole was recognized for his outstanding teaching, and he published extensively on such topics as prosecution, courts, and corrections. Among his accomplishments, he developed and directed the graduate corrections program at UConn, was a Fellow at the National Institute of Justice (1988) and at the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (1995), and was granted two awards under the Fulbright-Hays Program to conduct criminal justice research in England and in the former Yugoslavia. He became chairman of the Political Science Department, and retired from the University in 1997.

George and Joan traveled the world together. He continued to plan their next adventure, and remained deeply curious about the world until the end.

Cole is survived by his wife Joan, their two sons David and Jonathan and their families, and his brother Douglas and his family.

The family will receive visitors at Potter Funeral Home, 456 Jackson Street, Willimantic, on Saturday, June 20, between the hours of 2 and 4 p.m., and a memorial service will be planned for September. There will be a private interment.

The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the UConn Foundation to support the George F. Cole Dissertation Fellowship, which is awarded to a graduate student in political science conducting dissertation research in public law.


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