Stacey Ward Cole

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WEST SWANZEY - Stacey Ward Cole, 92, of West Swanzey, died Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014, in the comfort of his home, following a period of declining health.

He was born in Keene on Dec. 4, 1921, to Warren A. and Hazel E. (Ward) Cole. He was a lifelong area resident and was a 1939 graduate of Vermont Academy in Saxton's River, Vt., and later from the University of New Hampshire, Thompson School of Applied Science in 1941.

He married Mildred E. Hale of Swanzey on Sept. 18, 1942.

He was the owner and operator of Red Crow Farm in West Swanzey since 1941. Over the years, he earned many accolades in the agricultural community, including being a member of the Board of Directors and Past President of the N.H. Farm Bureau Federation from 1954 to 1962. In 1965, he won the Mary Lee Ware Trophy, the N.H. Farm Bureau's highest award. He was the executive director of the N.H. Petroleum Council in Concord from 1966 to 1985 and the senior agricultural adviser to the American Petroleum Institute in Washington, D.C., in 1986.

In 1987, he was appointed to the State Agricultural Advisory Board by then Gov. John Sununu. Also, in 1987, he was the first person to be awarded the Agricultural Experiment Station Centennial Award. In 1988, he was awarded a life membership in the N.H. Farm Bureau Federation. In 1989, he received the Andrew L. Felker Award, presented by the N.H. Commissioner of Agriculture Steven Taylor. In 1991, he received the Award for Distinguished and Meritorious Service to American Agriculture. In 1994, he was awarded the Agricultural Adventures Award for "Distinguished Service to New England Agriculture" at the Eastern States Exposition

Other honors bestowed were a University of New Hampshire Meritorious Service Award, presented in 1958. He was a trustee of the University System of New Hampshire from 1974 to 1986. In 1986, the Stacey W. Cole Endowment Scholarship at The Thompson School of Applied Science was established. In 1990, Cole Hall was dedicated in his honor on the campus of UNH by the Board of Trustees. Vermont Academy awarded him the Dr. Florence Sabin Distinguished Alumnus of Vermont Academy Award in 1991. Keene State College awarded him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at its 1996 commencement.

On the regional political front, he was a member of the N.H. House of Representatives from 1965 to 1967 and 1989 to 1996, serving as the Deputy Speaker from 1993 to 1996.

Former Govs. John W. King, Walter R. Peterson, Jr., Meldrim Thomson, Jr., Hugh J. Gallen, John H. Sununu and Judd Gregg also appointed him to various committees and commissions, such as the State Board of Fire Control from 1963 to 1986; he was the first chairman of the N.H. Air Resources Commission in 1967, and a member of the commission from 1962 to 1988; vice chairman of the Governor's Energy Council from 1973 to 1978; he was a member of the Governor's Commission on the 21st Century from 1989 to 1990.

He was a regularly featured nature columnist for the New Hampshire Union Leader from 1962 until his death.

Locally, he was the radio farm program director at WKNE Radio Corp. from 1943 to 1966; served on the Board of Directors of the Keene Savings Bank, which became Granite Bank (now known as Peoples Bank) from 1958 to 1996, serving as chairman from 1982 to 1996. He was on the Board of Directors for Granite State Bankshares Inc. from 1986 to 1996; and the town moderator for the town of Swanzey from 1967 to 1992.

He was predeceased by his wife of 57 years, Mildred E. Cole, who died May 22, 2000..

SERVICES: Funeral services will be Friday, Dec. 5, at 11 a.m. at the Community Church of West Swanzey, 7 Homestead Ave., West Swanzey. An hour of visitation will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. at the church. Burial will follow the service at the Woodland Cemetery, NED, in Keene.

Memorial contributions may be made in lieu of flowers to the Stacey W. Cole Endowment Scholarship Fund, c/o the University of New Hampshire (unh.edu), 105 Main St, Durham 03824.

Fletcher Funeral Home and Cremation Services, (fletcherfuneralhome.com) 33 Marlboro St., Keene, has been entrusted with the arrangements.


Published in Union Leader on Jan. 1, 1900
Arrangements under the direction of:
Fletcher Funeral Home
33 Marlboro Street | Keene, NH 03431 | (603) 352-4541
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