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Leland "Lee" M. Cole

August 10, 1934 February 3, 2019
Leland "Lee" M. Cole
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Obituary for Leland "Lee" M. Cole

Leland M. “Lee” Cole, age 84, died far too soon of brain cancer surrounded by his family on February 3, 2019. He was the beloved husband of 60 years to Carol C. (nee’ Cronk) Cole, cherished father of Julia (the late David) Stephen, Nina (Michael DeBoer) Cole, and the late Ellen Beth (Donald) Irie, proud granddad of Judith and Gregory Stephen, Cole and Corydon Irie, loving brother of Joseph Cole, and dear cousin of Hilton Smith. Lee’s life will be celebrated at a Memorial Service at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Terrace Park OH, 4PM April 6, 2019. His ashes will be interred in the Columbarium there. If desired, the family suggests memorial contributions be directed to the National Brain Tumor Society at or the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation at
Lee was born in Boston, Massachusetts, August 10, 1934 and grew up in Wellesley Hills, MA where he lived with his parents Edward D. and Jane Pogue Milnor. Even as a boy he was interested in geography and things international, having a huge map of the world on the wall of his room, where he continually added details. He attended the Wellesley Public Schools and graduated from the Berkshire School, Sheffield MA in 1953. He graduated from Harvard College in 1957 and got his MBA in 1963 from Xavier University, Cincinnati OH.
Starting in their training program and progressing into their computer department, Lee worked for Cincinnati Milacron for 21 years, including 8 glorious years in England where he gained much confidence. After that he sold computer hardware and software for a variety of companies worldwide, traveling around the world 5 times and visiting 64 countries. One especially memorable sale was to a small company in India that wanted to get into the computer business. They are now WIPRO, one of the largest and wealthiest multinational computer companies in India.
Lee always believed he was put on this earth to make a difference, which meant to him to help other people. He also believed we are meant to be agents of change. There is always a better way to do things and it is up to us to find and encourage these ideas. Much of his working life was spent introducing new ideas, often in equipment and technology. At work he was always successful in coming up with international jobs and assignments. Perhaps one of the most important differences Lee made came with the Marshall Plan based study tours in Ukraine. Lee never really retired, he just eased from one thing into the next. While he was still working in the computer field, he became involved with the Cincinnati Kharkiv Sister City Project’s Business and Trade group. Out of that, a small group founded a non-profit company, Center for Economic Initiatives. Lee’s longtime favorite monthly magazine was Foreign Affairs. There he read an article entitled “Jump Starting Ex-Communist Economies”. One of the authors of the article, James Silberman, conceived of and ran the original Marshal Plan Technical Assistance Program and was suggesting that could be done again. Eventually CEI ran 16 study tours for Ukraine, targeting specific industries. They were extremely successful.
Lee was also very definitely a family man. Except when he was travelling, he was always home for dinner with the family even if he had more work to do in the evening. Throughout his life, he continued studying and learning new things and he wanted his daughters to do the same thing. On vacations he asked them daily what they’d learned. He also taught them to work hard as he always did and was very proud of the strong women they became. Lee even enlarged his family by hosting 4 year-program AFS students from Finland, Turkey, Tunisia and Costa Rica. Especially for his family, he taught by example. Friends and family have used many adjectives to describe him: loyal, honest, even-tempered, intelligent, interesting, supportive, caring, kind, dedicated and a quietly remarkable man. He brought joy to all those whose lives he touched. Besides work, he was involved in many local projects and activities.
In the last years of his life, Lee thought of himself as a genealogist and was ready to pursue that interest for many more years. His memberships included the Mayflower Society, the Society of Colonial Wars and many other genealogy societies where he was an active member. He was a good man. May he rest in peace.

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Previous Events

Memorial Service




4:00 PM 4/6/2019 4:00:00 PM
St. Thomas Episcopal Church

100 Miami Avenue
Terrace Park, OH 45174

St. Thomas Episcopal Church
100 Miami Avenue Terrace Park 45174 OH
United States

Memorial Contribution

National Brain Tumor Society

Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation


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