Cole (he was NEVER called John by the Brothers) was pledged to Upsilon Alpha in the fall of 1936 and initiated in the spring of 1937. He was a legacy of Phi Gamma Delta. His brother, Charlie, 1936 and his brother-in-law Robert L. Bayless, 1938 preceded Cole at the Fiji house. Charlie was KIA in the ETO on 7/18/44 – a month or so after he had been with Brother Bill Puntenney in England. Cole was an active hombre while at the U of A. – freshman football, Sophos, Chain Gang, “A” Letterman Club, Track Team, (’39-’40-’41), member U of A livestock judging team-’40-’41 and he was the only business major to be a member up to that time of a aggie judging team.
As an undergraduate at the Fiji House, Cole was: Corresponding Secretary-’37-’38, Pledge Captain-’39, President ’40-’41, Secretary in the Interfraternity Council-’40-’41. He was politically active in organizing a group to elect Brother William H. Daily President of the U of A Student Body! He attended the 1940 Ekklesia in NYC with Brother Max Lininger-’43, representing Upsilon Alpha. After graduating and service in WWII he attended several Pig Dinners. In 1960 he was recognized by Danny Romero with his Owl Recognition pin. Cole was an outstanding leader and those who were in the house during his presidency were privileged to have been with him.
He has been a well respected and active member of his community of Mesa, Arizona. After WWII Cole worked for cattle feed lots and became a traveling salesman to ranches and feed lots in Arizona – selling vaccines and animal drugs. He worked in the industry until he retired in his early 70’s. As a side note, Cole’s niece and Brother Bob’s daughter – Betsy Bayless served with distinction on the Maricopa Board of Supervisors and as Arizona Secretary of State. Betsy was a candidate for the Arizona governorship in 2002.
Cole felt that Fiji means to him “a safe harbor.” When he pledged Upsilon Alpha he was given proper guidance to make the change from high school to college. “Many great pledges and members – friendships made forever. Living with and celebrating with Brothers is everlasting in life.” He is mighty proud to be a Fiji.