Charles Cole

Obituary of Charles Franklyn Cole

Charles Franklyn Cole, 94, of State College, passed away on Monday, July 17, 2023, at The Village at Penn State.

Born August 3, 1928, in Beaver Falls, he was the son of the late Charles Earl and Dorothy Seanor Cole. On December 23, 1952 he married Emma Jean Cole, his wife of 62 years who preceded him in death.

He is survived by his three children, James Cole of State College, Cindy Matly of Louisville, KY and Charles Andrew Cole and his wife, Paolo Ferreri, of State College; five grandchildren, Kristin Dennis, Steven Matly, Lauren Francis, Katrina Cole and Christopher Cole and many great-grandchildren. In addition to his wife and parents, he was predeceased by his sister, Susan Rickabaugh.

Charles earned both his Bachelor of Science in Zoology and his PhD in Ichthyology from Cornell University. He was a professor at the University of Arkansas, University of South Florida, University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the Ohio State University.

During the Korean War, he served aboard the USS Ozbourn as well as on the UDT Team #4 for a year (which would later become the SEALS). Following active duty, he served in the Naval Reserves until 1981 retiring with the rank of Commander.

One of his many interests, was working alongside his son, Jim, on the Cole family genealogy. Writing was another passion of Charles. He authored the book "Korea Remembered: Enough of a War: The USS Ozbourn's First Korean Tour, 1950-1951". Prior to his passing, he was also working on his autobiography.

He was a member of numerous professional organizations such as the American Institute of Fisheries Biologists, for which he served as President; the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists; the American Fisheries Society; American Society of Limnologists and Oceanography and the Ecological Society of America. While living in Columbus, he served as an alumni advisor for the Theta Xi fraternity and was a member of the Rotary Club in both Columbus and State College.

Memorial Service will be held on Monday, July 24, 2023, at 2 p.m. at the Village at Penn State with Pastor Carolyn Hetrick officiating.

Burial will be in the Beaver Cemetery, Beaver, PA on Wednesday, July 26, 2023 at 12 p.m.

Memorial contributions in Charles's name may be made to Grace Lutheran Church, 205 S. Garner St., State College, PA 16801.

Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home. Online condolences may be entered at







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Memorial Service

2:00 pm
Monday, July 24, 2023
Memorial Service
Village At Penn State, 260 Lions Hill Rd
State College, Pennsylvania, United States

Final Resting Place

12:00 pm
Wednesday, July 26, 2023
Beaver Cemetery
Buffalo Street
Beaver, Pennsylvania, United States
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