In Memoriam: per aspera ad astra

by Alden Cole on June 9, 2015 · 0 comments

“High aims form high characters, and great objects bring out great minds.” – Tryon Edwards (1809-1894)

1895.3BrothersWPToday, a small, very belated tribute to one of my second cousins, a true luminary of my generation – Marvin Bert Dow (1930-1998) whom I met only once in the early 80s, when he was battling ALS – Lou Gehrig’s disease. I had no idea of the extent of his scientific genius until I discovered his obituary online this morning while searching for his actual death date (the internet is amazing!!). Since I have no pictures of him I’ve chosen to re-feature a photo of his grandfather Wendell Phillips Cole (1881-1952) seen on the right in the photo above, with his older brothers Weymouth Harris Cole (1879-1973) my grandfather (left), and Winfield Lee Cole (1872-1944) (center); plus a couple of early snapshots below of Marvin’s mother Alice Cole [Dow] – my dad’s first cousin – in group shots with other first cousins.

1915KidGroup900Photo showing ten of the twenty-one Cole first-cousins from ca. 1915: Standing: Remich Shaw Cole (1902-1970), Alice Maud Cole [Dow] (1904-1982), Clark Remich Cole II (1907-1923), Ruth Waterhouse [Strong] (1901-1982), Doris Marion Cole [Smith]? (1903-1997), Charlotte Cole (1905-2005), Robert Weymouth Cole (1903-1992). Sitting: Richard Lee Cole (1910-2009), Emily Elizabeth Cole (1908-1990), Joseph Edwards Cole (1911-1981).

From Marvin Bert Dow’s obituary Feb. 14, 1998

“Marvin worked for 40 years for NASA in Hampton, Va., as a research engineer and retired in 1996. He spent 25 of those years researching advanced composite materials for use in commercial aircraft. During his career at NASA, he was awarded Special Achievement, Technical Excellence, Outstanding Performance and Group Achievement awards. In 1995, Marvin received a NASA Exceptional Service Medal for his 40 years of exemplary leadership, dedication and technical research accomplishments, and in 1996, after his retirement, he was named a Distinguished Research Associate. His research efforts were recognized on Aug. 13, 1997, with the dedication of the Marvin B. Dow Stitched Composites Development Center located at the Boeing facility in Huntington Beach, Calif. Marvin was the first NASA employee to be honored in the naming of a corporate building.”

For the complete text of Marvin Bert Dow’s obituary:

1919?4Girls900Photo of four first cousins from ca. 1919: Isabelle Cole [Roberts] (1905-1987), Alice Maud Cole [Dow], Helen Frances Cole [Hirschy] (1915-2012), Charlotte Cole, standing in front of Wendell Cole’s barn, just up the road from Cole Farm.

“You prove your worth with your actions, not with your mouth.” – Jean Paul (1763-1825) born Johann Paul Friedrich Richter

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