Cole designed sets and costumes for more than 250 theater productions at Stanford and was known for creating historical settings for the plays of Shakespeare, Samuel Beckett and Eugene O'Neill.
The design room of the Stanford Drama Department is named for him.
Cole was born in Chicago, Ill., on May 15, 1914. As a teenager, he attended the Chicago Art Institute and studied theater at Chicago's Goodman Theater.
He earned a bachelor's degree from Albion College in Michigan in 1936 and a master's degree in medieval history the next year at the University of Michigan.
He began teaching at Stanford in 1945 while earning his doctorate degree in drama and European history, which he received in 1951. He then became an assistant professor and taught at Stanford for 52 years.
"Wendell Cole was, arguably, the finest teacher of design in the country," said Doyne Mraz of Southern Oregon University, a former artistic director of Los Altos Conservatory Theatre. "His knowledge of historical theater and his acumen as a teacher captivated his students and his colleagues. Always gentle and a gentleman, Wendell worked untiringly for the theater, which was his life."
Cole, who had also studied Japanese language and culture, was the author of "Kyoto in the Momoyama Period" in 1967.
Cole was also active as a volunteer for the Palo Alto Children's Theater. He and his wife chaperoned trips to museums and plays in Los Angeles and San Diego.
He is survived by his wife, Charlotte Cole of Palo Alto, a former special collections librarian at the Hoover Institution. Private services will be held at University Lutheran Church.
Thornton C. Ege
Thornton C. Ege, 74, a longtime resident of Menlo Park, died April 25 after a brief illness.
He was born in Pittsburgh, Penn. He served in the U.S. Army from 1952-1954 in Germany, then settled in the North Beach area of San Francisco, where he worked as a medical technician for a number of years at Bay Area hospitals.
He later settled on the Peninsula and worked as an engineer, most notably at Telesensory Systems, which created the Opticon, a tool to enable sight-impaired persons to read books.
His own love of books drew him to a new career as a book trader in the 1980s. He managed Recycle Books on Hamilton Ave. in Palo Alto, which later became Renaissance Books. After Renaissance Books closed, he opened his own online book selling, buying and trading company, Thornton's books, which he operated from his home. He also had a side business repairing computers.
He is survived by his son, Michael Ege of San Francisco; his brother, Dave Ege of Kansas City, Mo.; his sister, Lindy Estep of North Carolina; his niece, Nancy Ege of Portland, Ore.
A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday afternoon, May 5, at Antonio's Nut House, 321 California Ave. in Palo Alto, beginning at 1 p.m.
Flora "Flo" McClain Finney, 89, a longtime resident of Palo Alto, died April 18.
She was born in 1918. Her mother, Carrie, was one of six Guthrie sisters from Trinity County, Calif., who came to the Bay Area after their parents' deaths.
Growing up in Oakland, she studied at the University of California, Berkeley, and earned a bachelor's degree in economics in 1939. In 1948 she earned a master's degree in social welfare.
At about the same time, she met her husband, Ben Finney, a clinical psychologist. He had served in the Army Air Corps during World War II and met her through friends after returning to the Bay Area. They met again at the U. C. Berkeley student counseling service and were married in 1948.
They moved to Palo Alto in 1950. Avid gardeners and decorators, their Heather Lane house appeared in a feature article in the San Francisco Chronicle's home section. She was deeply involved in many community activities. She joined the League of Woman Voters and was active in such issues as planning, recreation, child welfare, housing, libraries and the school district. In 1963 she and Ben moved to Seale Avenue.
In 1960 she began a distinguished career in medical social work at the Stanford University Department of Family, Community and Preventative Medicine. She was a lecturer in social work from 1966 to 1983. From 1966 to 1967 she was director of a committee to make recommendations for the Department of Allied Medical Sciences and served again with Leona McGann as co-director from 1981 to 1982.
She continued to be active, even after retiring in 1982. In 2003, she and McGann completed a landmark 180-page history of social work at the Stanford University School of Medicine. In 2005, Lane Library at the Stanford University Medical Center honored her and her colleagues with an exhibit on social work at Stanford.
She was an avid bridge player. She and Ben traveled widely and collected Oriental art and books on art. She was hospitable, outspoken and had a knack for storytelling, especially when it came to recounting family history.
She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Ben of Palo Alto; brother, David McClain and sister-in-law, Peggy McClain; three nieces and several cousins.
A memorial service will be held Sunday, May 20, at 10 a.m. at the Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto. Memorial donations may be made to any one of her favorite causes: the Palo Alto Library, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association or the Stanford Medical Center.
Mona Graham Hubenthal
Mona Graham Hubenthal, 97, a resident of Lytton Gardens, died April 28.
She moved to Palo Alto a little less than two years ago to be close to her family.
Prior to moving to California she made her home in Lewiston, Idaho for 57 years. She helped start the YWCA in Lewiston, was executive director of the Community Action Agency during the 1960s and was appointed to the Governor's Manpower Commission by Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus.
She was born and raised on a family farm in Rockton Township in northern Illinois. She met her late husband, Homer, while working at the Wisconsin Power and Light Company in Madison, WI. She fought for women's rights and social justice all her life. Her social and community activism earned her a Woman of the Year award from Washington State University in 2002. She was an avid gardener. She loved nothing more than a good cup of tea and a good conversation with friends. She had a firm sense of right and wrong and a graciousness that won people to her point of view.
She is survived by two sons, Graham Hubenthal of Stanwood, Wash. and Mahlon Hubenthal of Palo Alto; three grandchildren who live in the Seattle area; three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren who live locally.
A memorial service was held May 5 at All Saints Episcopal Church in Palo Alto.
Elizabeth Beach Peabody, 93, a longtime resident of Palo Alto, died April 30.
She was born Feb. 21, 1914, in Vergennes, Vt. She was married for 64 years to Prentice B. "Pete" Peabody of Palo Alto.
She served for 10 years as a docent at the Palo Alto Art Center and for 20 years as a docent at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. She was fascinated with Japanese and Asian art, and studied under Professor Jim Cahill at U.C. Berkeley in order to extend her involvement with the museum.
Making trips to Japan to collect art "became quite a compulsion with her," said her husband, Pete Peabody. She also served as an English tutor for Japanese students at Foothill College.
She is survived by her husband, Pete Peabody of Menlo Oaks; two daughters, Bayan Culhane of Danville and Barabara Levich of Seattle, Wash.; four grandchildren and one great-grandson.
A memorial service will be held Friday, May 11, at 3 p.m. at Roller, Hapgood and Tinney, 980 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. Memorial donations may be made to the Clark Center for Japanese Art, 15770 10th Ave., Hanford, CA 93290.
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