Roger David "Dave" Cole

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Just in time for morning services on Sunday, March 13, 2016, Dave Cole arrived in heaven where he was able to worship his Lord face-to-face with our mother at his side. To quote him upon hearing of a friend's death, "I think he was pleased!"

He was born Roger David Cole on November 17, 1924 in Berkeley, where his family roots ran deep. He graduated from Berkeley High School, the alma mater of his father and grandmother. After three years in The U.S. Army Air Corps, he studied chemistry at UC Berkeley, graduating in 1948. He spent two years as a chemist at an oil refinery in nearby Avon before returning to UC Berkeley to earn a Ph.D (1954). A year of research at the National Institute for Medical Research in London, and two at the Rockefeller Institute in New York City preceded his joining the Biochemistry Department at UC Berkeley in 1958. He retired as Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology in 1990, and as Assistant Dean in the College of Letters and Science in 1992. The University presented Dave the Berkeley Citation in 1992.

The research Dave did with his students throughout his career concerned the structure and function of proteins - hormones, enzymes, cytoskeletal proteins, and especially chromosomal proteins. These were also the subjects of his sabbatical studies in England at Cambridge and Oxford.

Dave was on the editorial boards of several professional journals, and he published more than 200 articles and book chapters on his research. In addition he authored several chapters and articles on theological and ethical implications of genome research. He lectured widely throughout this country and abroad. Dave consulted for the American Cancer Society, and the National Institutes of Health. He belonged to several professional societies and held offices in the American Chemical Society, including the chairmanship of the Biological Chemistry Division.

Dave served on the governing boards of four churches, most recently at the Free Methodist Church in Santa Barbara. His board service also included New College, Berkeley; The Center for Theology and Natural Sciences (Berkeley); Westminster House (Berkeley), and Westmont College (Santa Barbara).

Among Dave's enthusiasms were gardening, landscape painting, walking, punning, and history reading, but his heart belonged to his family. In 1944 Dave married Thelma Bennett, his high school sweetheart, who preceded him in death (2008). He is survived by: son David Cole and his wife Linda Henderson of Missoula, MT; daughter Mimi McConnell and her husband Ty of Scotts Valley, CA; Janice Bowen and her husband Bob of Eugene, OR; eight grandchildren and their five spouses, and nine great grandchildren.

While Dave was extremely accomplished, those are not the things he will be most remembered for. He will be remembered for his humility, his sense of wonder and gratitude, his love for God, his whole-hearted and unconditional love - that extended not only to his immediate family, but also to his students, colleagues, church, and extended family and friends. He will be remembered for his joyful and sometimes "pun-ishing" sense of humor, his ability to see beauty all around him, his wisdom, grace, and goodness. Dave was special and all who met him knew that instantly. He will be deeply missed, but we are celebrating with him a long life, well lived, and now continuing into eternity.

Memorial Services will be held at Free Methodist Church, 1435 Cliff Dr. Santa Barbara, 93109 on April 2, 2016 at 2 pm. If you are so inclined, wear a little Cal blue and gold in honor of Dave's passion for his alma mater. Donations in Dave's memory may be sent to Westmont College, Santa Barbara or to Free Methodist Church.

Published in The Santa Barbara News-Press Online Edition from Mar. 17 to Mar. 21, 2016
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