Herbert Cole Jr. passed away peacefully on August 19, 2021. He was born on March 29, 1933, in Brooklyn NY to Herbert Cole Sr. and Berdie (nee Kunsman) Cole. While much of his early education was in Brooklyn, it was the summers and weekends at their farm in Stone Church PA that he really loved. It was here he learned to fish and hunt; passions that he kept for the rest of his life. He earned money for college by trapping on and around their farm while he completed high school in Bangor PA.
Herb enrolled at Penn State immediately after finishing high school and never left. He completed his bachelors, masters, and PHD degrees at Penn State and was offered a position as an Assistant Professor of Agricultural Extension Services. He retired in 2005 having provided over 50 years of service as a researcher, educator, consultant, and administrator. He only retired because he felt “it was probably time”. He said he always felt blessed to have a job that he looked forward to doing every day.
Herb lived a life of service to Penn State and the State of Pennsylvania receiving numerous awards, honors, and accolades along the way. At Penn State he was head of the Department of Plant Pathology for 7 years, author of over 250 publications, Chair of the Penn State Faculty Senate, recipient of the McKay Donkin award, and Outstanding Alumnus of the Department of Plant Pathology, along with many other awards. His contributions to the state included being Chair of the Governor’s Council on Pesticides; serving on the Huntingdon County Planning Commission; being on the Boards of 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, and many other organizations. He was inducted in 2018 to the Bangor High School alumni “1885 Club” for his tremendous contributions to mankind and as an outstanding example for others to follow.
While his professional career was one of success and enjoyment, it was the time he spent outdoors that he loved the most. He devoted his spare time to hunting, fishing, biking, and doing anything that let him be out on the land. He shared that love with his family and many friends. He was passionate about the wise use of resources and wanted to be remembered as a conservationist but not preservationist. Since 1973 much of his time was spent in a labor of love developing and maintaining his farms on Shavers Creek in Stone Valley and near Aaronsburg in Penns Valley. In between, he fell in love with Wyoming while elk hunting and ultimately owned a couple of ranches in that state, frequently returning to hunt.
He is survived by his wife April (nee Stover) Cole; children Herbert W. Cole (Marion), Susan Bowers (Randal), and Patricia Bittner (Michael); stepchildren Jacquelyn Vok (Mark), Christopher Corman, Heather Smith (Bill), Grant Corman (Natalie); brother Charles Cole (Wanda), nieces and numerous grandchildren. The family will be having a private funeral at the Neff Funeral Home in Millheim with a Celebration of Life to be scheduled in the future. In lieu of flowers please make a contribution to the Spring Mills YMCA or Centre County PAWS.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Herbert Cole, Jr., please visit our floral store.
1401 Trout Road, State College PA 16801
Spring Mills YMCA
115 W. Streamside Place, Spring Mills PA 16875