Frederick MacKay Cole, 77, an accomplished foreign disaster relief expert, died suddenly in an electrical fire at his North Arlington home in the early morning hours of Friday, May 27. Cole was the father of Sally Cole, executive director of the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Cole devoted his adult life to helping those in need. After graduating college, in the early 1960s, he worked for the international relief organization CARE, moving with his new wife, Whitney Foley (now Fuller), to Libya, where they had their first child, Sally. His work then took him to Yugoslavia where a second child was born, Elizabeth, and then to India, where he served as Deputy Mission Chief. He moved to Arlington, in the late 1960s to work for the Peace Corps and then with the State Department’s Agency for International Development. He lived in McLean, in the 1970s and 1980s where a third child was born, John, and he served as Deputy Director for Asia and the Pacific of the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance.
Mr. Cole was born in New York on Sept. 27, 1933 to Brig. General John Tupper Cole and Janet Cole, both considered largely responsible for the creation of the U.S. Equestrian Team. Moving to Washington, D.C. as a child, he was a graduate of Episcopal High School in Virginia in 1952, studied Urban Affairs at American University and graduated from Sewanee, The University of the South, in 1956. Upon graduation he began a brief career in advertising during which he created one of the first cause-related marketing campaigns before marrying in 1961 and devoting the rest of his life to helping causes.
In addition to his career efforts, he was known for his humility, his sense of humor and his loves of writing, reading, opera and dogs. In addition to his three children, Sally Dawson Cole of Falls Church, Elizabeth Tupper Cole of Greenville, S.C. and John Tupper Cole of Raleigh, N.C. Oof Raleigh, N.C., he is survived by three grandchildren, Whitney Guillot, Kayla Cole and Alexander Cole, his wife for 30 years Whitney Cole Fuller, his sister Jean Cole Gascoigne, and two nephews, William Cole Gascoigne and R. Tupper (Gupper) Gascoigne.
Services were held at the Murphy Funeral Home in Falls Church last Saturday. In lieu of flowers, it was asked that donations should be made to CARE (www.care.org) in Mr. Cole’s name.