Below are the details for those wishing to make a memorial donation in memory of Tony Cole.   For all donations, please include a note with Tony’s name.

Tony’s family is requesting donations to these deserving organizations in lieu of flowers.
Boy Scouts of America - Anthony Wayne Area Council
8315 West Jefferson Boulevard
Fort Wayne, IN 46804
Snider High School Football
c/o Snider High School Athletics Department
4600 Fairlawn Pass
Fort Wayne, IN 46815
Snider High School Performing Arts
c/o Kathy McVaigh
4600 Fairlawn Pass
Fort Wayne, IN 46815
Beta Theta Pi Fraternity - Beta Mu Chapter House Association, Inc.
c/o Kevin M. Comer
1700 Fairway Drive
Kokomo, IN 46901
Purdue University Flight Team
Donate via the University Development Office website at:
Click on “Make a One Time Gift” (or “set up a Recurring Gift”), and on the next page “Select a Designation Area”. Scroll down to the very last entry “Other – specify in comments”. “Other Instructions” should include “Av Tech Flight Team #1207”. Select “yes” to the question about the gift being in memory of someone, and enter Tony’s name. If you wish to send notification of the gift, please enter Janet and Mack Cole, 1908 Benham Drive, Fort Wayne, IN 46815.
Posted by Cindy Hallar Cook on February 27, 2014
Thinking of you and your son Tony always! Whenever I take my hike on my parent's farm and wander the woods Tony is in my prayers. As soon as the bluebells arrive I will make him a bouquet. Love, Cindy
Posted by Ronna Parrot on February 27, 2014
All of you are always in my heart and mind…love you all...
Posted by Laura Hossler on February 25, 2014
So many fond memories. So many prayers of strength and peace surrounding you.
Posted by Karen Allen on February 25, 2014
Janet and Mac: My thoughts and prayers continue for you and your entire family. Let's get together soon when I return from Florida. I think of you often.
Karen Allen
Posted by Lisa Wiley on February 24, 2014
So glad to have stopped by the other night for the brief visit. I appreciate it that you accept my randomness! But there is still not a day that I do not think of you all and the forced change that has had to be made. Its just on my mind all the time and I care so much for you and others who knew him so well. I just wish there were more I could do
Posted by Janice Cass on February 24, 2014
Thinking of you all as another tough day approaches.  It's hard and my prayers go out to you. Tony will always be alive in your hearts.
Posted by janet cole on February 23, 2014
It's been three years since we spent our days & nights at the hospital hoping Tony would get better. Thank you all for keeping our family in your thoughts & prayers. We couldn't have made it this far without your support. Love, Janet & Mack
Posted by Ronna Parrot on October 26, 2013
Hi Janet, Mack, Betsy, Vince, Ian, and entire family. You all have been in my thoughts and prayers, especially this month...but always. We will always remember Tony. Love you all!
Posted by deb thiel on October 23, 2013
Every time I see a small plane fly over, I think of that handsome hunk tipping his wings to us old gals! Love and prayers to your whole family,
. Deb T
Posted by Kathy Ferguson on October 22, 2013
We remember Tony, especially today on his birthday, and are thinking of you too, Janet, Mack, Betsy and Vince. Our prayers are always with all of you.
Miss you guys!
Ed and Kathy
Posted by Karen Allen on October 22, 2013
Janet and Mac ~ My prayers continue with you on this difficult journey. I am learning to "see and listen" since my brother was killed 18 months ago and Dad passed a year ago. God will provide what you need in your most stressful moments. I will recommend a book I have found so comforting and have read more than once: "Heaven is for Real". Hugs for your family.
Posted by Ken & Mary zick on October 22, 2013
Dear Janet & Mack
Hearing that Tony would celebrate his 25th birthday today brings our heartfelt prayer that you would experience peace and strength for this time.
Posted by Tom McKarns on October 22, 2013
We are thinking of you and remembering the lasting impressions that Tony had on all of us. He brought lots of energy to everyone he touched! Love, Tom, Lisa, Kate, Jack and Will
Posted by Janice Cass on October 22, 2013
Thinking of you all and sending a prayer your way.
Posted by janet cole on October 21, 2013
Tomorrow is Tony's 25th birthday. Our family wants to thank all of the special people who continue to walk with us down the difficult path we have been forced to travel.
Love; Janet, Mack, Betsy, Vince, and Ian
Posted by janet cole on October 21, 2013
Tomorrow is Tony's 25th birthday. Our family wants to thank all the special people who continue to walk with us down the difficult path we have been forced to travel.
Janet, Mack, Betsy, Vince, and Ian
Posted by Lisa Wiley on October 14, 2013
I was running errands and looked at the blue sky with the color in the trees. I then remembered how difficult life has been for your family especially when I remembered his birthday is coming up. I really pray for God to continue to give you in whatever way any touch of grace through moments you have that make you smile.(Like that one time I spoke with you Janet about the meteor shower)
Posted by Ronna Parrot on March 6, 2013
Janet, Mack, Betsy, Vince, and Ian: Living without Tony in your every day life is something I cannot imagine for all of you and the extended family. Our family still thinks of Tony, often. We continue to think and pray for all of you. I know his presence is very much a part of each day of your lives. May God continue to hold each of you in His arms and provide comfort, always. Love you.
Posted by Lisa Wiley on March 5, 2013
As always, I think of your familly. The only thing I can write here comes something I read in a book .I am not for sure of the wording but. it is similar. "As time has moved on where you once had only sorrow now remains a subtle sense of peace"
Posted by J'Nelle Hamilton on March 3, 2013
Janet, Mac, Betsy, and Vince,

You all have been in my prayers the last several weeks. I'll keep praying.
Posted by Karen Allen on March 3, 2013
Janet and Mac,
You continue to be in our heartfelt thoughts and prayers. Hugs for you and your family.
Posted by Mark Wehrle on February 26, 2013
Hard to believe it has been two years. We were just looking at old pictures with the kids and saw a few more shots with Tony, the pre-school years were kid fun for us to watch and remember...the fun for Janet, Mack, Betsy with Tony. Peace and Love from the Wehrles.
Posted by Laura Hossler on February 26, 2013
We prayerfully think of you.
Posted by Judith Lawrence on February 26, 2013
Dear Mack, Janet and Betsy
Thinking of you today. I sincerely hope that your sorrow will lighten and you can have some peace with rememberence of the joy that Tony brought into your life.
Posted by Tom McKarns on February 26, 2013
Dear Janet, Mack, Betsy and Vince,

Thinking of you all today, and enjoying seeing all the wonderful pictures of Tony. They brings smiles to all of us who knew him, and I am sure to even those who did not. May peace be with you, and may Tony's energy and warmth live on.
Posted by janet cole on November 27, 2012
We want to thank our friends and family who have helped us along this road. It is the second holiday season since Tony has passed and we wish peace and happiness to you all. Love, Janet and Mack
Posted by Mark Wehrle on October 22, 2012
Kathy and I missed you guys at Cole's (our oldest son) wedding. We all got together at our house for a reception. I told Hope I had seen Mac, and we remembered Tony
Posted by Lisa Wiley on October 22, 2012
There is not one day that I do not think of your family. I love the fact that Alaina and Dan are close to all of you and I also enjoy hearing the stories of and seeing pictures of Ian. I listened to a Jackson Brown song "For a Dancer" its on Utube and it is such a nice song. The words were very comforting and may help on days that are so difficult like his birthday. Take Care, Lisa
Posted by Karen Allen on October 22, 2012
I just love seeing the picture of Tony with his plane. Airplanes were a big part of my life through my father who passed away Oct. 7 this year. I just know that both Tony and Dad are soaring on the wings of eagles and looking down on us with love. They will be with us forever in our hearts. Janet, let's get together soon after I return from Dad's home.
Posted by Judith Lawrence on October 22, 2012
Thinking of your family today. What a blessing Tony was and always will be in your heart.  We know too Janet that we will be reunited in Heaven.With our loved ones. Love you Judy
Posted by Ronna Parrot on October 21, 2012
Janet, Mack, Betsy, Vince, Ian, and family: though you remember Tony every day in your lives, tomorrow brings about a day that should have been celebrated in another birthday for Tony. Instead, we celebrate the life he did have and all the wonderful memories and love we all had of Tony. You all are in my thoughts and prayers. God bless.
Posted by Betsy Irizarry on July 11, 2012
Here is a video of Tony singing "Folsom Prison Blues" with the Crazy Gringos in August 2008. He nailed it on his first time singing the song!
Posted by Megan Church on April 21, 2012
I cannot believe he's been gone a little over a year. I took a walk through the woods at Kathy's and thought of him the whole time. Such a great guy
Posted by Tom McKarns on February 27, 2012
Dear Janet, Mac, Betsy & Vince,
We are thinking of you today, and about the vibrant life of Tony, and all those that he touched with his charm, energy and concern. His spirit lives on in all of us who knew him and he will always be remembered. How he lived his life continues to serve as a model to all of us, and reminds us to be happy and to encourage our friends.
Posted by Judith Lawrence on February 27, 2012
Janet, I am thinking of you today and I think that I am feeling your pain as I lost Jim on February 12th.  I remain so sorry for your loss I hope that your days and years get easier. I did not know Tony but he sure sounded like a wonderful young man. God Bless you and your family.
Posted by Kathy Ferguson on February 27, 2012
Janet, Mac, Betsy and Vince,
Please know that you all are always in our thoughts and prayers, especially these last couple of weeks. Time passes and we move on, but we don't forget. We love you and miss you guys!
Ed and Kathy
Posted by Ronna Parrot on February 26, 2012
It is still difficult to grasp the loss of Tony, one year later. I pray for all of and friends. He is missed so very much. I pray God will wrap His loving comfort around each and everyone of you. Only He, truly, can grant you the peace you need. We love you all! Ronna Parrot and family
Posted by Mark Wehrle on February 26, 2012
It is hard to believe it has been one year. Kathy and I just watched 60 minutes, they were showing extreme cliff jumping in a bat like suit. They flew 140 mph like birds. Tony would have loved to see this. It was nature, gravity and man in flight. Our regards to Janet, Mac and Betsy.
Peace and Love from the Wehrles.
Posted by Kathy Erlsten on February 26, 2012
We met at our farm as a family and friends of Tony on this day. Although only one year has passed it seems so much longer since he left us. He is still in all our hearts and always will be. We are all better people for having known and loved Tony!! Lovingly from Aunt Kathy
Posted by Lisa Wiley on February 21, 2012
Hello, I know it has been a year. I hope you all do not mind but I have to express that I still think of your family, friends and all those who knew him. I still think of the situation every day. It has affected ME so strongly because of the fact that it has affected the ones I love and I hate the feeling of the loss for you all. I always felt happy when stories were told involving hiim.
Posted by Janice Cass on February 21, 2012
I have had you all in my thoughts and prayers this week. I know this is another tough time to get through, please know I am hear to listen if you need someone to talk to. Jan Cass
Posted by Betsy Irizarry on February 9, 2012
As we approach the one year mark of Tony’s accident, we want to thank everyone who is helping us keep his spirit very much alive. Below are some links to help celebrate Tony.
Kind words:
Posted by janet cole on January 8, 2012
We want to thank everyone who helped us so much all through the year 2011. We pray we will all have a better new year. We still feel Tony is with us in so many different ways and hope others feel this as well. Love, Janet and Mack
Posted by Janice Cass on October 23, 2011
I've been thinking of you all, I hope the time spent with friends and family helped to heal your broken hearts. Tony was so very special. Keith was just telling me how much he enjoyed fishing out at the farm with Tony and listening to his stories of flying planes.
Posted by Stewart Turner on October 22, 2011
Just a happy flyer up in Alaska. I know Tony wanted to see this state. Now he's got a better view from higher up.
Posted by Dawn Ormsby on October 22, 2011
Happy Birthday Tony. Thinking of you and your family today.
Posted by Ronna Parrot on October 22, 2011
Remembering Tony on his birthday...our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. I know there is a party going on in heaven! God bless all! Love you!
Posted by janet cole on April 17, 2011
Dear Cindy - Thank you for sharing. For more details on why your actions are so meaningful to us please look under "stories". Thank you, Janet and Mack Cole
Posted by Cindy Hallar Cook on April 16, 2011
We are so sorry for your loss! My husband and I live near the site of the accident. We love wandering this woods admiring its beauty every Spring. The flowers are blooming. We have set a bouquet of bluebells by the spot. Sincerely remembered! Cindy
Posted by Nancy Contreras on March 27, 2011
Janet & Mack, So very sorry to hear about Tony. What I remember about him was his beautiful smile and how nice he was. I pray God will comfort you and your family through this difficult time. The Contreras Family
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Recent Tributes
Posted by Mark Wehrle on February 26, 2021
We wish you and everyone the best. An anniversary of lost loved ones and of the many others lost in 2020, helps remind us always to be nice, offer to help, ask questions and engage as any moment may be the last. In the end, the hurt we (Kathy and I) experience only makes us better understand our shared life together, on day at a time. We will always remember Tony, how he made our family smile and how excited our kids got when he joined in their fun.
Mark and Kathy Wehrle
Posted by J'Nelle Hamilton on February 25, 2021
I have learned that the worst day of our lives is the best day in the lives of those who meet their Savior in heaven. While the junk of this world has always made me long for heaven, the joy of meeting God, family, and friends there one day keeps me going. 

In the meantime, what path does God want for us? Whose lives are we supposed to touch? Who still needs to know that Jesus offers us eternity if we only choose Him? Every heart in this world was created with a longing for something more, for that empty space to be filled. Only God can fill that spot because He created it. 

Wisdom and guidance are what I pray for as we walk out the short time before we hit eternity.  Love you guys! I am so excited to see Tony and my mom and so many, but we just keep moving until our time is up!
Posted by janet cole on February 15, 2021
Ten years ago today our lives were changed forever. This was the day of the accident. This was the day we saw him in the hospital being kept alive by machines. This was the day we had to call loved ones with our heartbreaking story. Our hearts are still not mended. When we allow ourselves to suffer our loss it is not pain we feel, but misery.
Recent stories
Shared by Lisa Wiley on February 28, 2020
I just want to let your family know that I really think of you and Tony so often. I always say this but it is because its TRUE !!  Please know that although I do not have any stories from my own experience I have heard many from  Alaina. I also know that I wish I could have known Tony more personally and I feel that everyone kind of feels the same way. I know how Jim looked up to him, and the loss greatly affected Jim's life but in a positive way Tony lived his life.I guess I should not speak for my "kids" because they may be embarrassed since they are not kids anymore. Thank you for keeping this site going. I guess I had a story after all.

Son, Brother, Friend

Shared by janet cole on February 23, 2016

The following is an article from The Compassionate Friends newsletter Jan. 2016. It was written by Tony's parents (Janet and Mack), sister (Betsy) and long time friend (Dan).

Our son Tony was a lover of life:  he loved the ourdoors, family, friends, football, lacrosse, snow skiing, and building things.  He didn't know a stranger and often sang or whistled as he worked on various assignments or personal projects.  It seemed he was busy every day with school activities or helping friends or constructing things or planning the next adventure.  Tony loved flying airplanes and that's how he died.  We heard from many who knew him that "he lived more life in 22 years than most people do in 80".  This is what keeps us living.

My brother Tony was all in.  Many of us hesitate, take a sip, dip a toe into the flow of life.....but Tony would run straight in with a huge dimpled grin and a hoot of joy.  When he was a baby, I remember gazing into his eyes, making repetitive "babytalk" sounds as he earnestly stared back and his little mouth worked to mirror mine.  His connection and his presence with people were a hallmark of his life.  When he was in elementary school and I was in high school, I remember one family trip out West when we went camping in the Rockies.  As our parents set up camp, Tony and I scrambled up a nearby hillside feeling exuberant and adventurous.  At the top we stared in awe at the magnificence surrounding us.  His love and respect of nature defined him in life and beyond. (Hiking in the woods today is the surest way I have of connecting with my brother's unbridled spirit.)  When Tony was a young adult in college, he became an uncle to my son Ian.  Tony gave me the precious gift of watching his love envelop the next generation of our family before he passed away.  Now, as I watch both of my boys learn, grow, and laugh, I miss my brother beyond words... but I also see bits of him playfully peeking out through my sons' eyes.

My friend Tony was the kid in school wearing his oversized U of M hat on backwards, climbing trees during recess, capturing bugs and ambushing unsuspecting classmates with acorns.  Never living a dull moment through life, he always shared his adventures with friends.  Whether Tony was setting the stage for the school play, creating a backyard zip-line, effortlessly skiing down a double black diamond or spending time with family and friends, he always exuded passion and love.  With Tony's passion towards life, everything was possible.  There was never a discussion or topic that was off limits between us and he always gave an honest perspective and advice.  He would call, for no particular reason, other than to ask how my day was going and what plans I had for the week ahead.  Tony was charismatic, adventurous, hardworking and a loving friend that will never be forgotten; my dearest friend. 

Barn party

Shared by Josh Kaskel on October 22, 2014

Same year tony sang in the band and dressed up like his uncle