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DOROTHY AKERS COLE - SOUTH BURLINGTON - A wonderful woman left this world on Feb. 20, 2013, after living a full life of 96 years. Dorothy Akers Cole was born in Heathfield, Sussex, England, on Jan. 4, 1917. Due to tragedies associated with W.W.I, she was adopted in infancy by George and Eleanor Akers. At four years of age, she and her parents immigrated to the U.S. and came to live in Johnson, Vt. Her adoptive mother, Eleanor, died in 1922, and her father was remarried to Florence Kent of Peterborough, England. Together they raised Dorothy and lived the life of a Methodist minister's family, serving pastorates throughout Vermont including the towns of Johnson, Ludlow, St. Albans Bay, Georgia, Cambridge, Franklin, Gilman and Essex Junction. Dorothy adapted readily to each of the towns she lived in as a child, and enjoyed visiting each of them as an adult, pointing out the parsonages she had lived in. She graduated from Montpelier Seminary, a private women's boarding high school, in 1934, and from the University of Vermont in 1938, where she was a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority. She accepted a teaching position at Bradford Academy in Bradford, where she taught English for several years. She met W. Gilbert Cole in Bradford and they married in 1940. For the next 30 years "Dot" and "Bud" operated a unique resort in Bradford known as "The Garden," with a Lodge, Dining Room and six cottages. It was the former Cole family home and was a special place. They developed many deep friendships with guests who returned to the Garden for annual vacations. After selling the Garden in 1972, they moved to the retirement home they built on Fairground Road in Bradford, overlooking the Connecticut River valley. In 2003, a few years after the death of her husband Bud, she moved to Pillsbury Manor in South Burlington, to be closer to her daughter, Deborah. Dorothy was very active in the United Church of Christ in Bradford, chairing the Hospitality Committee and serving two terms as Women's Fellowship president. She was a trustee of the Bradford Public Library, served two terms on the Oxbow High School board, and on the Beautification Committee for Bradford village. She loved family gatherings and was always interested in the lives of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her many interests included gardening, skiing, quilting and Vermont history. She could easily put together a delicious meal for 50 or more. Over the years, she played basketball, field hockey, tennis and loved to swim in any body of water. She and Bud enjoyed downhill and cross-country skiing together. She was a fan of the Boston Celtics and enjoyed watching Larry Bird play on TV. She was a wonderful gardener and had a great appreciation for nature and literature. She enjoyed several trips to England to visit her birthplace and relatives. She loved driving around Vermont and noticing old buildings that "should be fixed up." She was also a fan of Queen Elizabeth II and Winston Churchill. Dorothy is survived by her children, Donald Cole and wife, Ann, of Randolph, Mass., Deborah Worthley and husband, David, of Huntington, John Cole and partner, Marilyn McDonald, of Mendon, and Sarah Davis and former husband, Jeff Davis, of Asheville., N.C.; six grandchildren, Darren Cole (Diana Elliott), Calla Duffy (Sean), Aaron Worthley (Dori Barton), Justin Worthley (Cara), Bryan and Lydia Davis; and eight great-grandchildren, Hannah, Asa, Meadow, Eamon, Victoria, Samuel, Benjamin and Anna. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews; cousins in England; and sister-in-law, Marion Morhouse. Dorothy was predeceased by her parents; husband, Gilbert "Bud" in 1998; and sisters-in-law, Carolyn Cole Lane, Virginia Cole, and Zella Cole Hibbert. Her family is very grateful to the caring staff at Pillsbury Manor who helped make the last years of her life enjoyable. Much appreciation also goes to Dr. Richard Tonino and the VNA hospice. The family will schedule a service for Dorothy in Bradford in the spring. A public announcement will be made about the date and time. Contributions in Dorothy's memory can be made to the UCC Church, Bradford, VT, c/o Karen Lipinczyk, 245 North Main St., Bradford, VT 05033; or the Bradford Historical Society, 172 North Main St., Bradford, VT 05033.

Published in The Burlington Free Press on Feb. 24, 2013
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