Edward “Ted” Cole began his boyhood in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Despite the relative impoverishment of his early days, Ted recalled those days with relish, even though he was only too happy to escape the limits that area held for a young black man yearning for more from life.
Ted learned from an early age to survive by his wits. Everyone took a liking to this personable young man and he parlayed that asset into jobs that helped his father support a family of nine members.
Ted escaped from Mississippi by accepting a football scholarship in Massachusetts. Just as abruptly, he dropped out of college after his first session; opting to join the US Air Force. A brief flirtation with pro-football as a member of the New York Giants taxi squad left him with a lifelong limp. But Ted used his understanding of the game to become an Air Force information specialist and sports editor. his interest in music gave his career in broadcasting a boost when he was stationed in Europe and beamed jazz and poetry-flavored nighttime radio programs to thousands of GI’s stationed overseas.
In October 1979, Ted came to FNS after holding a succession of jobs that were less than satisfying. Starting as a GS-4, he steadily proved his mettle and rose to GS-11; serving as an acting GS-12 when Mel Roghair was named to head the region’s pilot Quality Control project. Among his peers, Ted was well respected for his grasp of complex Food Assistance regulations. But his real forte was his diplomacy in dealing with state agency staffs. Ted knew that the real key to corrective action compliance involved fostering a spirit of cooperation and good will. Ted also spent time as the Colorado Welfare Fraud Council’s newsletter editor.
Away from work, Ted pursued a variety of interests. He prepared food from different countries as well as serving up a mean rack of barbecued ribs. Ted loved jazz and you would find him in the audience of accomplished artists. Ted loved to fish, watch sporting events, work in the garden and even tried oil painting. Above all, he was a “proud PaPa,” and a man who loved talking about his son, Tijani.
Ted Cole was born December 25, 1935 and passed from this life on December 27, 1987 at the age of 52. His untimely death was sad, but there is a certain comfort among his many friends that he lived his life in the impeccable style, grace and dignity we would all aspire to achieve.
The Ted Cole Memorial Award recognizes an individual or group who demonstrated excellence in performance that enhances the general principles and goals of the CWFC, public relations, positive contribution to the newsletter, legislation, or other printed forums that relate to preventing public assistance fraud and the promotion of the CWFC.