Joseph Cole

Joe Cole

Joseph Cole, Club President 1994-1995


Joe Cole was born and raised in Akron, Ohio in 1938. He attended local schools and graduated from Buchtel High School in 1956. He then entered the United States Naval Academy and graduated with the Class of 1960. He completed his Master of Science Degree in Aeronautical Engineering at Cranfield Institute of Technology in England in 1968. Years later, in 1989, he and his wife, Gail, came to Sanger to visit the Ostranders for a week end, bought a house on the spot and moved here from Los Angeles where he had been working for Hughes Aircraft Company.

Upon graduation from the Naval Academy, Ensign Cole reported for duty in Pensacola, Florida for flight training. He received his wings in October 1961. He flew in various squadrons during his twenty-six year career and flew 157 combat missions during two combat deployments to Vietnam. His most notable squadron duty came with Attack Squadron One Ninety Two where he served as Commanding Officer in 1977-78. After retiring from the Navy as a Captain in 1986, Joe went to work for Hughes Aircraft Company in Los Angeles, California where he was the Manager for the FA-18 Flight Simulator Program.

In the fall of 1989, he left Hughes. He and his wife, Gail, moved to Sanger, California. He took up playing golf and also built golf clubs for several years. After he quit playing golf he continued to walk for exercise. In the year 2000, he walked over 1,000 miles and still walks over 500 miles a year. He took up building and flying radio controlled airplanes for a few years but decided flying them was much harder than flying real airplanes. In 2003 he took a course in New Hampshire to learn how to make Windsor Chairs using basic hand tools. He still makes and repairs chairs as a hobby. He has been active in various Christian and community organizations, including:

• Family Worship Center, Sanger
• Rotary Club of Sanger
• Hope Now for Youth: Sanger Advisory Council, 1996-99; Board of Directors, 2000-07
• Project Purple, a church sponsored anti-gang organization
• 1997-98 Fresno County Grand Jury Foreman Pro Tem
• Fresno Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center Advisory Council, 1998-present
• Walk to Emmaus Ministry
• 1998 Sanger Citizen of the Year
• Sanger Police Activities League Board of Directors
• WOW JAM Ministry
• Sanger Chamber of Commerce Ambassador
• Sanger Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

Joe was sponsored into Rotary by Gary Ostrander in August 1990. He served on the Board of Directors, spent one year as Club Secretary, and for three years acted as Club Treasurer. In 1994-95 he was Club President and has been the Club Foundation Chair since 1995. At the District level, he served as an Area Rep in1995-96 and as the Foundation Chair in 2001-02. He is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow, a Benefactor, and a Rotary Foundation Major Donor.

Joe and Gail have three grown children, seven grandchildren and four great grandsons.

Joe joined Sanger Rotary on August 1, 1990 and resigned on January 9, 2017 to move to the Los Angeles area and be near family.


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