COLE, Denis H.
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It is with deep sadness that the family of Denis Cole announce his passing on June 5, at age 94.
Born in London, England, Denis served in WWII and met his beloved wife Jeanie Smith shortly afterwards. They married in 1948 and enjoyed 64 years of marriage before her passing in 2012. Denis is survived by his 2 children, Tony Cole and Susan Lawson and 6 grandchildren, Jeremy Lawson (Poppy), Jonathan Lawson, Daniel Lawson (Jasmin), Megan Lawson, Heather Cole and Andrew Cole. He is also survived by his sister Pauline Millar and her children Sarah, Nicholas and Christopher in England.
Denis loved Canada. After an initial few years in Calgary, he established himself as a city planner in Red Deer and eventually became the Chief Commissioner of that city. He developed a cabin property at Sylvan Lake where the family spent each summer while living in Red Deer. A keen sailor, Denis and Jeanie enjoyed many trips around the world both sightseeing and sailing with friends in exotic locales. They were great entertainers, and their garden barbeques were renowned by friends, neighbors and work colleagues.
After 18 years in Red Deer the family moved to Calgary where Denis took up a position with the City of Calgary as Commissioner of Operations and Development and eventually went on to become Chief Commissioner.
Initially qualified as a Chartered Surveyor, Denis had a long and distinguished career in municipal government, retiring from the City of Calgary as Chief Commissioner in 1981. He then served as a member of the Alberta Planning Board for 10 years. One of his proudest accomplishments occurred in 1987 when he was awarded the prestigious Vanier Medal, for his lifetime contributions in the public sector.
Denis was very proud of each member of his family and will be profoundly missed by one and all. He was active in supporting his grandchildren's activities and loved to hear how they were finding their individual passions and paths.
Active in body and mind throughout his life, Denis continued his interest in government and politics and was engaged and excited about new endeavours right up to the end. Most recently he was looking forward to a grandson's wedding, the birth of his first great-grandchild and a Christmas vacation in Mexico. He lived fully to the last.
Special thanks go to the staff of Wentworth Manor who supported his ongoing independence and to many of his co- residents who became good friends.
A Memorial Service will be held at Eden Brook Memorial Gardens on Saturday, June 21 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Doctors Without Borders.
Arrangements entrusted to EDEN BROOK FUNERAL HOME AND RECEPTION CENTRE (17th Avenue SW and Lower Springbank Road). Condolences may be forwarded to the family by visiting www.edenbrookcemetery.ca.
Published in The Edmonton Journal on June 14, 2014