Trent Cole, 1941-2009, of the Vail Valley
Vail, CO Colorado
“This is such an amazing disease and so appropriate for me to experience. I’m looking forward to learning all it has to offer.”
Few people would be able to say these words about a disease such as ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), but Trent Cole lived up to this belief. He passed peacefully in the arms of his adored wife, Kathy Cole, early Saturday morning.
Trent lived his life with the intention of experiencing fully every nuance of the adventure. Whether difficult or not, Trent spent his energies on enjoying the process. He leaves us all with much more than he came to us with, for he brought to his endeavors his unique wit, sharp intellect and insatiable desire to learn all life has to give and to become the better for it. He lived life as large as he could, but in his own quiet way.
He talked to each of us about the influences in his life ” his beginnings in a one-room schoolhouse in Emerson, Iowa (being the only student in his grade for seven years) and his appointment to four military academies; he chose to attend West Point. His military career ended with a life-changing leg tumor that transitioned him to the University of Iowa, where he met his first wife, Barbara.
From there he moved to Boulder with his family, which included two daughters. He met many of you while selling life insurance and developing his burgeoning real estate business. He was the consummate salesman, and his excitement about a particular project was contagious.
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He loved to tell you how he met his second wife, Kathy, at her 40th birthday party. They bonded quickly, and (along with Aussie the Awesome Terrier) biked, traveled the world, snowshoed, played tennis, golfed, shared laughter with each you, and eventually married. They regularly made the Vail Valley their weekend getaway and in 1992, their permanent home.
We got to share Trent’s philanthropy as well. He insisted we be a part of it. Whether it was with Emergency Family Assistance Association in Boulder, the Asolo Opera in Sarasota, Fla., Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival and the Vilar Center, or sponsoring cleft palate surgery for a young Nicaraguan girl, we grew as he gave.
Children were his overriding passion, and his most recent involvement has been with Roundup River Ranch in the Vail Valley, a Paul Newman Hole-in-the-Wall Camp dedicated to providing free programs to children with life-threatening illnesses.
Perhaps the biggest influence on his life was his higher power. This special relationship gave Trent his ability to live his life true to himself without fear that he wasn’t enough. He laid out his life’s course based on the AA principles of living honestly and living one day at a time.
Trent, 67, is the son of Frank and Frances Cole, of Emerson, Iowa. He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Alan Cole and Terry Cole.
He is survived by his soulmate, Kathy Cole; daughters Kim Cole, of Lafayette, Colo., and Bonnie Cole and husband Dmitry Molotchev, of Avon; sister Cindy Mabary, of Littleton, Colo.; and aunt Marjorie Gipe, of Shenandoah, Iowa.
He is also survived by all of you ” doctors, nurses, caregivers and many special friends. You provided him an incredible quality of life only few can imagine. He loved you all so much.
Remembrances may be made to Roundup River Ranch, referencing the Trent Cole Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 8589, Avon, CO 81620, 970-926-2448.
A celebration of Trent’s life will be held at the Vista Restaurant in Arrowhead on March 26 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Trent would not want you to mourn his passing. Rather, let his memory and his life be an inspiration for each of us; embrace our own lives’ challenges and joys, experience to the depth of our souls the gratitude for all we have, have fun with the process, and above all, remember to ‘east dessert first.’ As Trent would say to all of you … au revoir.