William G. Cole, 93, passed away on January 25, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois after a short illness. Born on March 7, 1917, he attended the Mt. Hermon School and Columbia University and received his PhD from the Union Theological Seminary where he studied with Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Tillich. After serving churches in Cleveland and New York City, he became Chaplain and Professor of Religion at Smith College. In 1952, he took these same roles at Williams College where he also chaired the Religion Department and served as Dean of Freshmen. In 1960, he was appointed the ninth President of Lake Forest College and presided over an impressive building program and launched innovative academic reforms. After leaving the college in 1970, he led both the Chicago Council of Foreign Relations and Nasson College in Maine. During his career, he authored 3 books: Sex in Christianity and Psychoanalysis (1955), Sex and Love in the Bible (1959) and The Restless Quest of Modern Man (1966). His wife, Doris Elinor Williams, from whom he was divorced, predeceased him in 2009, but he leaves behind three sons, W. Graham Cole, Jr. of Lawrenceville, NJ, Edward M. Cole of Lake Bluff, IL, and Stephen S. Cole of Wilmette, IL and six grandchildren. There will be a private family service at a date in the future. Donations in his memory can be made to the Mt. Hermon School, One Lamplighter Way, Mt. Hermon, MA 01354 or Lake Forest College, 555 North Sheridan Rd., Lake Forest, IL 60045. Information: Heritage Cremation, Ltd. 800-936-1414.
Published by Chicago Tribune on Feb. 9, 2011.
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7 Entries
I will never forget the kindness and generosity Bill Cole showed me in my transition from high school brat to educated young adult. He will always have a special place in my thoughts and I want to convey my deepest sympathy to the family.
David Allen
April 14, 2011
bill cole was one of kind. he profoundly influenced my life, and was one of the best friends i ever had. i miss him terribly. but he is always with me.
spencer lord
March 10, 2011
I worked with Bill, Dr. C, in the mid eighties and recall the pleasures of our long enjoyable "chats" with such fondness. Bill was a very, very special person. Sincere sympathy to his family.
Liz Larsen
February 12, 2011
With deepest sympathy
Donna Adams
February 10, 2011
Bill Cole, as he will always be fondly remembered, is my lifetime mentor and friend. My deepest sympathy and condelence to his family. Bill will be remembered by all of us who knows him from across the world. James Ng, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
james ng
February 10, 2011
I met Bill Cole in Chicago in 1984 and have maintained a strong friendship with him since that time. I know that I am not alone in recognizing the profound influence Bill had on my life. My condolences to his family and friends.
Patrick McNeil
February 10, 2011
Sorry to hear of Dr. Cole's passing. I worked for him at Chicago State University in the early 70's and he was always a gentleman. God bless him.
gary marfise
February 9, 2011
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