Mimi Cole

Obituary of Mimi Anne Cole

Mimi Anne Cole, 91, of North Branford, beloved wife for 69 years of John Henry Cole, passed away peacefully at home on November 13, 2020. John predeceased Mimi by only three months. Mimi was born on July 24, 1929 in Vienna, Austria and emigrated to the US in 1939 via London. She earned her BA in English Literature at Barnard College, where she met John, who attended Columbia University. Mimi’s four children survive her: Robert Cole (Sophie) of Washington, DC, Patsy Kumekawa (Michael) of Clinton, CT, Chris Cole (Barbara) of Hopewell, NJ and Peter Cole (Elizabeth) of Washington, DC and eight grandchildren. Mimi was employed by the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY from 1972 to 1976, and worked at Cornell University and for many years at Yale University in various capacities, including as the longstanding Registrar of the Yale University School of Architecture, and with the Yale University Art Gallery. After retirement, Mimi continued her affiliation with Yale and was actively engaged with the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art. Mimi and John moved to Guilford in 1979 and subsequently to Evergreen Woods in North Branford in 2012. Mimi’s passion, like John’s, was her family. She was very compassionate and deeply supportive of her children and grandchildren. A fiercely intelligent woman and lifelong learner, Mimi took enormous pleasure in discussing the details of each of her grandchildren’s interests and passions as well as those of the many students she befriended. She took pains to educate herself on emerging trends in the wide variety of the fields of their endeavors. Mimi loved classical music. Her first dates with John were to attend classical music concerts, and throughout their lives they went to countless concerts in the shoreline area, Tanglewood and operas in New York. Classical music (especially Mozart and Italian opera) always filled their home. In addition to music, Mimi loved literature,theater and the arts. She read continuously, loved wordplay and puns and especially crossword puzzles – proudly completing even the most challenging in pen. Family vacations for many years were to Stratford, Ontario to attend the Shakespeare festival, where she insisted that all family members, regardless of age, read the plays in advance. Museums large and small drew her like a magnet. Mimi and John traveled extensively, with Mimi designing itineraries that favored European cultural centers, especially Rome and Venice. Mimi had a softer side. She loved to laugh, spoil her cats and to relax with a good book in the sun in her garden or on the rocks near Sachems Head Yacht Club. And, in keeping with her Austrian heritage, Mimi lovingly prepared a number of special foods for her children, grandchildren and friends: her legendary raspberry jam (fresh-picked from Bishop’s), Vanillekipferl, “special pancake”, and a coffee Bundt cake that always arrived “just in time” for birthdays far and wide. Her family and friends will deeply miss this very warm and charming, yet determined woman, her wise(and often witty) words and her sharp mind. A private family service will be held in the near future. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Yale University Art Gallery.
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