POTSDAM -- Robert “Bob” Cole passed away peacefully on October 6, 2019, in Asheville, North Carolina. He had recently moved from Potsdam to a health care facility in Asheville to be closer to some of his family.
In his last days, he was surrounded by most of his family, including his three children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Bob was born on December 31, 1928, in Bridgeport, CT. He graduated from Milford High School in 1946 and then joined the U.S. Marine Corp. While in the Marines, after Boot Camp at Parris Island, he was stationed at Cherry Point, NC; New London, CT; and Camp Lejeune, NC.
After service in the Marines, Bob attended Clarkson College on the GI Bill to earn a degree in chemical engineering.
While attending Clarkson in Potsdam, he met his future wife, Dorothy Pratt; they married on July 30, 1955. Bob and Dorothy had three children, Patty, Karen, and Larry. He and Dorothy were active, long-time members of the United Methodist Church.
After working a couple years for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics in Cleveland, OH, Bob and Dorothy moved back to Potsdam where Bob completed his graduate education at Clarkson College and began his career as faculty member in the Chemical Engineering Department.
While a faculty member at Clarkson, he taught a wide range of courses, was on the front end of bringing personal computers into undergraduate education, and very much enjoyed his research, teaching, and his ongoing interactions with his students and colleagues from near and far.
He especially enjoyed two of his sabbaticals where he and his family spent year-long periods in Eindhoven in the Netherlands while he was a visiting faculty member at the Technische Universiteit.
After serving as a faculty member for decades, he retired as a Professor Emeritus from Clarkson University in 1995.
Bob was known as a friendly, kind person who loved to tell and listen to stories. He was an eternal optimist and could raise the spirits of all around him.
Through the years, Bob had many hobbies and interests including woodworking, bridge, wine-making, travelling, golf, watching New York Yankee games and attending as many Clarkson Hockey games as possible.
He and his wife, Dorothy, travelled widely to see international figure skating competitions. From early in his life through his 90th year, Bob always cherished visits with his immediate and extended family.
Bob was predeceased by his wife of 63 years, Dorothy, who passed away last April, and by his brother, Howard Cole, and sister, Evelyn Olson.
Bob is survived by his children and their spouses, Patricia and Mark Lord of Sylva, North Carolina; Karen and Mitchell Pruzansky of Coral Springs, Florida; and Larry Cole of Irvine, California; grandchildren, Joshua and Zair Lord, Cassandra Lord, Rita and Cody Hiatt, and Sarah Pruzansky; and great grandchildren, Juniper and Sophie.
Bob’s family held a private celebration of life. With his wife at his side, he will be interred at Bayside Cemetery in Potsdam.