In Memory of Mike Cole

My son-in-law, Mike Cole, died 20 years ago today. He was on duty as an El Dorado County sheriff’s deputy at the time. He had been a cadet, explorer and reserve officer with the Oxnard Police Department, donating more than 1,200 hours, before he was appointed a regular officer at OPD where he served for 10 years. He was only 33 when he got into a fatal car accident and left behind his wife, my youngest daughter, Lori, and three sons - Robert (9), Gregg (5) and Christopher (3). Our family had always commented on how Mike packed so much into his life. Besides being a law enforcement officer, a good husband and father, he had a cabinet-making business and loved to pilot small aircraft. Maybe he had a feeling he didn’t have long to live.

Of course Mike is the one who got me started writing about law enforcement because he shared with me so much of what was going on after his shift when he came over for coffee. He even took me on a ride-along and impressed me with his skill in calming down irate citizens.

During the time I knew him--as a box boy at the commissary on the Seabee base, my daughter's suitor, her fiance, her husband, my son-in-law, a daddy who loved and spent time with his sons, a cop and then a deputy sheriff--I loved him like a true son.

We miss you, Mike, but we’re glad you were a part of our lives, even it it was only for a short while.

P.S. His middle son followed in his dad's footsteps and is now a police officer in Aspen, CO. The eldest has his own business, and the youngest is a wonderful carpenter and also has his own business.


Mason Canyon said…
We never completely let go of someone who has passed away. I think a part of them remains with us always and that's good. Sounds like your son-in-law was not only an inspiring man in life, but his legacy continues to inspire.

Thoughts in Progress
Marilyn I have lost a number of friends to the streets. Their names are now engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. I am sure Mike's name is among them.
I would personally like to invite you and your family to join me during this year's Police Week in Washington. You are welcome to stay at my house to cut down on expenses. However, you will need to rent a car. Unfortunately I'm still a working stiff and will probably have to work that week.

The candlelight vigil is without a doubt the most moving part of the weeks events, but several events during the week are something to see. Police week kicks off this year with the candlelight vigil on May 13th, which is a Friday, and continues through May 21st.

My son is also a Police Officer with the D.C. force and works as a uniformed Sergeant on the Midnight shift, which he prefers. He's been on over twenty years and still loves the job.

I did 35 years with the D.C. Police and have the upmost confidence in my son's abilities, but I still worry about him, especially on the mean streets of today.

Please, don't feel obligated to accept my invitation, but if you decide to come I feel confident it will be a memory you won't forget. You will also see that Mike is among many other dedicated law enforcement officers who also made the supreme sacrifice for their communities.
Oh, thank you so much for the kind offer--but hubby and I have given up on airplane travel that far. We'll be looking forward to seeing you at the PSWA conference.

What a wonderful tribute to your son-in-law. They never leave us in spirit, but ti seems they are always closer when the aniversary of their departure arrives. I know it's the same for May 15th which is the anniversary of my dad's death. He's been gone now for 17 years.

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