Longtime Texas banker and rancher John A. Cole of Lampasas passed away on December 24, 2023, in Dallas at the age of 92.
Born in 1931 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, he held a BS degree and MS degree in geological engineering from the University of Oklahoma, then went on to earn an MBA degree from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. He was also a graduate of Columbia University’s Banking School and the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin. In addition, he lectured at the SW Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University.
After serving as an engineer with Cities Service Oil Co. in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Cole’s long career in banking began in 1961 when he joined Texas Bank and Trust in Dallas as an engineer in the oil department. He later became involved in energy and commercial lending.
In 1974, he moved to Houston to join Texas Commerce Bank (now part of JPMorgan Chase) as vice president in the energy division. Two years later, he was named manager of the correspondent banking division. When he retired from the bank in 1993, Cole had served in several management positions in the energy, financial and commercial loan divisions.
During his banking career, Cole was active in the American Bankers Association and the Texas Bankers Association, and was an active fundraiser for educational institutions, as well as various civic endeavors. He served as director and trustee for public, private and nonprofit organizations. Cole was particularly interested in the Houston Symphony and served for many years as treasurer of Trees for Houston and the Houston Regional Science Fair. He was a trustee of the Texas Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (now TIRR Memorial Herman) and served as Treasurer of its Foundation.
In 1991, Cole married Amy W. “Mimi” Campbell, a native of Lampasas. Following his retirement from Texas Commerce Bank in Houston, in 1993 the couple moved to Lampasas where Cole began his 30-year career as a rancher. During this period, he was a parishioner of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, where he served on the vestry and was a valued member of its finance committee. He also assumed several active roles in Lampasas civic affairs. He served three terms on the Lampasas City Council and was named mayor pro tempore. He also served as a board member of the Lampasas Economic Development Corp., Central Texas Water Supply Corp., and Lampasas Association for the Arts. He was active in the Texas Trails Council of Boy Scouts of America and served on its board. In recognition for his service to the Boy Scouts, he was awarded the Order of the Silver Beaver. He was also a member of the board of visitors of the University of Texas McDonald Observatory.
An art connoisseur, Cole amassed a collection that reflected his fondness for English prints. His wide-ranging interests extended to sports cars and his ownership of a 1965 Morgan Plus 4 that he had restored in England. He enjoyed membership in Morgan owners groups in Houston and Central Texas.
Cole is survived by his wife and numerous additional family members and friends.