COLE, JOSEPH DENNIS, 74, passed away at Baptist East Hospital on February 22, 2014, due to complications resulting from polio which he experienced as a child.
A native Texan, Joe was born on January 28, 1940, in Laredo, TX, to Lucile Burke Cole and William Hoyt Cole. He lived the first four years of his life in Hebbronville, TX, then his family moved to Kenedy, TX, where he attended the public schools and graduated from Kenedy High School in 1958. Joe attended Victoria College (Victoria, TX), and Rice University, and received the BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Houston in 1965 and 1967, respectively.
For the next four years, he worked for the military industrial complex (Pratt & Whitney Aircraft) in East Hartford, CT. In 1971, he returned to Texas to pursue a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering at Southern Methodist University which he received in 1974. He then accepted a faculty position in electrical engineering at the University of Louisville. While at UofL, Joe served as Acting Department Chair from 1991 to 1992 and as Associate Chair from 1992 until his retirement in 2009. He also served on the Faculty Senate for nine years, and on numerous University, Speed School, and Departmental committees. He received the UofL Alumni Association's Red Apple Award in 2006.
Joe is a Life Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and was Chair of the Louisville Section in 1985, and Chair of the Kentucky Area from 1988 to 1995. He also helped establish the Louisville Chapter of the IEEE Computer Society in 1986. He received the Louisville Section's Distinguished Service Award in 1987 and 2006. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Kentucky. He is also a Kentucky Colonel and a member of the Jewish Community Center and Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church.
Joe is survived by his loving and supportive wife, the former Suzanne Zehnder, three sons, Thomas Michael, David William and Bryan Joseph (Anne); an aunt, Erin Hughes of Galveston, TX, several cousins, including Lloyd Cole of Louisville, and many loving and supportive in-laws and friends.
Visitation will be held at Ratterman Funeral Home, 3711 Lexington Road in St. Matthews on Monday February 24, 2014 from 2-8pm. Celebration of Life will be held Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 508 Breckenridge Lane at 11:00am. Internment will be at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the
or the Salvation Army.
Published in The Courier-Journal from Feb. 23 to Feb. 25, 2014