July 28, 1935 - November 29, 2021
Frank Maurice Cole, 86, passed away early on Nov. 29, 2021, at his residence in Cheyenne, WY, with his family at his side. Frank was born to George and Mary Cole on July 28, 1935, in Cheyenne where he grew up. He graduated from Cheyenne High School in 1953. His father, George, put Frank to work at an early age as a hod carrier for George’s brick laying business, and Frank learned a very strong work ethic while working for his father. The masonry business soon grew into residential construction and commercial development, including one of Wyoming’s first shopping centers—Cole Shopping Center—and Frank would spend almost all his adult life passionately working with and for the family business. Frank first earned a BS in civil engineering from the University of Wyoming. It was at UW that he met his true love, Louise Christensen, and they were married June 2, 1957, in Torrington, WY, where Louise grew up. After graduating from UW in 1957, Frank and Louise relocated to the Bay area, and he took a job working for California Highways in the Freeway Design and Construction Survey Division. The loss of Louise’s mother in 1958 brought Frank and Louise back to Cheyenne, where Frank took a job as a bridge designer with the Wyoming Highway Department. Frank happily returned to Cheyenne as he always felt that “Cheyenne was the greatest place on earth.” Frank stepped away from bridge design work in 1961 to help manage the Cole Family assets and businesses, which included Cole Shopping Center, The Bluffs Company land development and other property investments, along with Cole Department Store/Christmas Dreams. He continued developing lots and creating new neighborhoods in The Bluffs until early this year. Among the developments that Frank was associated with were Cole Addition, The Bluffs, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Frontier Mall, and Frontier Square. Throughout his professional career, Frank maintained a Class A contractor’s license and was licensed as a professional engineer and land surveyor in Wyoming and Colorado. He belonged to American Society of Civil Engineers, the National Society of Professional Engineers, National Society of Professional Surveyors and was a director for the National Retail Federation from 1975-1997. He obtained the prestigious certified shopping center manager (CSM) designation from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) in 1967 and was promoted to an elite group of Senior Certified Shopping Center Managers (SCSM) in 1995. Frank represented the State of Wyoming as the government relations chairman for ICSC from 1991-2010, a role that annually took him to DC where he promoted the unique needs and interests of Wyoming to our federal legislators. Volunteering and giving back to the community were always important to Frank, and he did so in a variety of organizations over the years. He was a Cheyenne/Laramie County Regional Planning Commission member (1981-1983 and 1998-2016). He also served several terms as president of Southeast Wyoming Builders Association (SEWBA) and represented SEWBA as a national, state and local board member for many years through the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB). He also supported Cheyenne as a member of the Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce, Cheyenne Leads and the Kiwanis Club. When he attended any convention, regardless of the organization, he loved talking to people about Cheyenne. He was an enthusiastic Cheyenne Frontier Days (CFD) volunteer in several capacities for more than 60 years, including: parade marshal for the Parade Committee (you could always find him at the intersection of Lincolnway and Carey Avenue); the Contract Acts Committee, where he attended all the night shows and ran the main spot for many decades, and as a cook and server at the Cheyenne Kiwanis Club pancake breakfasts. His last parade as marshal was in 2019. He and Louise were major supporters of the Old West Museum and the Spirit of the West Art Show. They sponsored a wagon every year during the chuckwagon races and, when those were eliminated, they began sponsoring a saddle for the CFD bareback champion. Eventually, in 2010, Frank was awarded membership in the elite CFD Heels. Frank was proud of his association with the University of Wyoming and donated yearly to the College of Engineering and the Alumni Association. He and Louise always looked forward to the FFA auction at the Laramie County Fair and, for 25+ years, they have bought a steer from a young FFA member. Frank was a member of First United Methodist Church his entire life. He served on various committees through the years including the Board of Trustees, and the committee to help design and build the Education Building. Frank’s numerous roles in these and other professional organizations, as well as community planning and steering committees over the decades, have had a significant influence on how the Cheyenne community was shaped. As a concerned citizen and watch dog, he attended nearly every City Council and Planning Commission meeting until his health no longer allowed him to attend in person. Frank also had many non-professional interests and activities. He loved to ski, hike, camp and ride his bike. He was an amateur photographer. He loved all things Christmas and took great pleasure in decorating Cole Shopping Center for the holidays, including putting up the soldiers on the corner of 19th and Converse. He loved trivia, particularly when it involved geography and well-known architecture, buildings and bridges. He had a fondness for Big Boy 4014 and recently chased it across eastern Colorado as it returned from its summer tour. As an avid traveler, Frank visited all 50 states and various countries in his lifetime. His favorite place was New York City, where he would attend Broadway shows, visit Times Square and walk the streets of Manhattan. If he wasn’t travelling, he was exploring the world on Google Earth and would gladly show you wherever you wanted to go. He employed hundreds of Cheyenne residents over many decades and was a big advocate for mentoring and educating the next generation. Whether it was showing a gardener for the shopping center how to build a sprinkler system or mentoring his corporate staff on the art of a real estate deal, he did it with joy and with attention to every detail. He never did anything halfway. Frank always put his family first and you could find him at any of his children’s activities or events as they were growing up and, more recently, at activities involving his grandchildren. Frank is survived by his wife of 64 years, Louise; his daughter Kate Tietjen, her husband Ted, and their children Kristina and Teddy, and his son, Frank Cole. He is also survived by his brother Ed (Kay) Cole, several nieces and nephews and long time mentee Donna Cartwright who was like a daughter to him. He was preceded in death by his parents George and Mary Cole. Frank will be greatly missed by his family and friends, but God has called him to Heaven to complete a “highly specialized technical job.” Friends may contribute to the Old West Museum or First United Methodist Church.
Frank Maurice Cole, 86, passed away early on Nov. 29, 2021, at his residence in Cheyenne, WY, with his family at his side. Frank was born to George and Mary Cole on July 28, 1935, in Cheyenne where he grew up. He graduated from Cheyenne High... View Obituary & Service Information
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