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 Janice Cass on March 27, 2011
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all during this very painful time of grief. There are truly no words to express how very sorry we are. Our prayers are with you always. Brad and Janice and Keith Cass
Posted by Theresa M. Bigler on March 21, 2011
I did not know Tony personally, but through these pictures and tributes, I can almost feel him in spirit. My prayers are for all he left behind. A remarkable young man, Forever Young.  Love, Tess B
Posted by Tom McKarns on March 17, 2011
Tony touched so many with his positive attitude and ever present smile. He has helped all of us to know that we can accomplish much more than we realize. Our memories of Tony will inspire us to do more. McKarns family of Ann Arbor
Posted by Megan Church on March 9, 2011
I'm so sorry for the loss of Tony. He was such a great guy. I remember the times over the summer when we rode quads, went coyote hunting, and had many fun times. Summers will sure be different in Morrow Co. Ohio. My prayers are with you.
Posted by Kathy Erlsten on March 9, 2011
Tony had a love of life that we will never forget. He was our fourth son. He will live forever in our hearts.
Aunt Kathy and Uncle Steve Erlsten
Posted by Jane Dannhausen on March 7, 2011
Jane Dannhausen lit a candle on 7th March 2011
I remember so fondly when our son Chris played with Tony and all the Wehrle kids when they were so very young! They had so much fun!
Sometimes the right words are so hard. Remember that our thoughts and prayers are with all of your family during this time!
Bob, Jane and Chris Dannhausen
Posted by Karen Allen on March 6, 2011
Janet and Mack,
My thoughts and prayers are with you during this most difficult time. I have no words to express my feelings. May God be with you and comfort you in your time of need. Karen, Steve, and Ross
Posted by Mark Wehrle on March 6, 2011
Janet, Mack and Betsy. Kathy and I are so sad for your loss. Our kids have earned their "sad badge" from your loss. He was a great kid and anyone who was lucky enough to know him knew what a good guy Tony was (and what great parents he must have) Peace and Love from The Wehrles
Posted by Judith Lawrence on March 6, 2011
Janet, Mack and Betsy..
It has been years Janet since we worked together and when I heard what happened to Tony it broke my heart.
I am so sorry...
Death leaves a heartache that no one can heal...

Love leaves a memory that no one can steal
Our love and prayers to you and your family..

Jim and Judy Lawrence
Posted by Ronna Parrot on March 6, 2011
Janet, Mac, Betsy, Vince, and Ian: Many wonderful memories and years are entwined between our children and our friendship. My heart aches for all of you. Tony was a wonderful person; a tribute to all of you. His relationship with his family was priority and I know you will always miss him. May God provide the comfort you need. Love you all. Ronna, Joe, Kyle, Wade, Alyssa and Olivia
Posted by Ed Sweeny on March 3, 2011

I was so sorry to hear of Tony's passing. He sounded like a terrific young man -- too tragic. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Ed Sweeny
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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