Eric

Dec, 22, 1929 - August 8, 2021

Eric Maxwell Cole of Charlottesville, Virginia, died peacefully in his sleep August 8, 2021, from complications of a stroke. He was born Dec, 22, 1929, in the Croyden area of London, England, to Florence Dorothea Engeroff Cole and Herbert Maxwell Cole, who predeceased him.

He graduated as a civil engineer from the Brighton Technical College and served in Europe as an officer in the British Royal Engineers. He helped to rebuild dikes in the Netherlands after a catastrophic flood in 1953.

Eric emigrated to the United States in 1956, with his first wife, Jean Clarke, and worked as a civil engineer in the Chicago area. He thoroughly enjoyed life in the States and became an American citizen in 1962. After a divorce, he enrolled in the University of Chicago, got his bachelor’s degree and worked toward a PhD in the history of science. He taught at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

In 1964 he married Evelyn Edson and their daughter Meredith was born in 1970. The family moved to Scottsville, Virginia, in 1971 to help found Springtree Community.

Eric moved to Reston, Virginia, following a divorce and established businesses, first in electronics repair and later in computer database programming. In 1981 he married Elise Schmetzer Burroughs, becoming the stepfather of Jennifer Burroughs. Eric’s and Elise’s daughter, Alison, was born in 1985. Eric served as a parent volunteer at Sunrise Valley Elementary School  in the 1990s.

Eric retired in 2009 but he retained a keen interest in computers and all forms of technology. Although he enjoyed watching American football, Eric also continued to root for Arsenal when soccer became available on TV.

Survivors include his wife, Elise, of Charlottesville; daughter Meredith Cole and husband Peter Krebs of Charlottesville; stepdaughter Jennifer Burroughs Runyon of Phoenix, Arizona; daughter Alison Cole Godachy and husband Gregory Godachy of Los Angeles, California; and grandchildren Abigail Runyon, Leah Runyon, Sebastian Krebs, Violet Godachy and Margot Godachy.

The family would like to thank Hospice of the Piedmont and the University of Virginia JABA staff for their excellent care and many kindnesses. Interment will be private and a memorial service will be held at a later date.

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