Richard (Rich) G. Cole

Rich, 60, of Talent, Ore., passed away Nov. 18, 2008, at his home. A celebration of Rich's life will be held at his home on Dec. 7, 2008, from — p.m. to — p.m. Please call (541)770-5076 for more information.

Born on March 11, 1948, in Irvington, N.J., Rich was the oldest child of Warner (Bud) and Laurel Cole, who preceded him in death. Graduating from Valley Forge Military Academy in 1965, Rich served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War era stationed in Japan.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from California State University in Los Angeles and he earned a Masters Degree in Social Ecology from the University of California in Irvine. He also completed coursework through the School of Business at Southern Oregon State College in Ashland. His credentials included Community College Instructor in Sociology, State of California, a certificate in Programming/Systems and Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program in Medford, Ore.

Rich moved to the Rogue Valley in 1977, and began work at The Job Council in 1980. During his 27 year tenure at the Job Council he made many contributions and enhancements to the lives of clients, employees and community organizations. There, he was a Program Analyst, Business Manager, and retired in 2006 as Executive Director. He was admired and respected by many. Rich's numerous awards included being a subject of biographical record in Marquis Who's Who in the West 1987/1988, Who's Who of Emerging Leaders in America 1989/1990, Who's Who in America 2000, and multiple awards of Financial Reporting Achievement.

After retirement, Rich operated a small retail paper and antique collectables business with his sister. Other hobbies included photography and playing guitar. His greatest pleasure was spending time with his grandchildren.

He is survived by his partner of 23 years, Kris Bennett; his sister, Patricia Miller; his stepson, Zane Bennett; his daughter-in-law, Vanessa Brown; and his beloved grandchildren, Lydia Morris and Ethan Bennett.

Rich will be remembered as a very kind, caring and compassionate human being. Thank you, Rich, for all you gave to those around you, both in your personal and professional life. We will all miss you.