Patricia Hand Cole

NEWPORT NEWS - Patricia Hand Cole, a native of Newport News, died Dec. 6 in San Francisco, surrounded by her family and dear friends, after a 20-month battle with breast cancer. She was devoted to her family and friends; she was a treasured mother, sister, aunt and friend, and will be dearly missed. She attended Warwick High School and the College of William & Mary, where she received a B.S. in mathematics, as well as a master's degree in applied science. Ms. Cole began her career working for NASA , using computers to test planes in wind tunnels. She then moved to the West Coast, where she launched a career in the new world of computer graphics; her work included the creation of animation illustrating the process of evolution in Carl Sagan's Cosmos series. She first worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, and was then recruited by Sprocket Systems, George Lucas's pioneering computer group. She provided computer graphics for several of his movies, and received a movie credit for her sequence on exploding planets in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, for which she was also written up in film industry magazines. Ms. Cole was Co-Chair of the 1985 SIGGRAPH Conference, a major annual gathering on cutting edge computer graphics. From LucasFilm, she moved on to Atari. Her final professional position was with Hewlett-Packard in Palo Alto, CA. Ms. Cole was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Dr. Alan R. (Randy) Cole. She is survived by her three children Catherine, Conrad and Hunter, residents of San Francisco; her sister Barbara Hand Fallon of Alexandria, VA; her brother Patrick Hand of Cape Charles, VA; sisters-in-law Lynn Cole of Sacramento, CA and Suzy Scott of Hampton; and numerous much-loved nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, donations to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society would be welcome.

Published in Daily Press on Dec. 17, 2013