Carolyn "Carol" E. (Buckley) Cole

November 23, 1934 ~ January 29, 2021 (age 86)


Carolyn Elizabeth (Buckley) Cole died peacefully with family members present, on Friday January 29, 2021 at Beaumont Skilled Nursing Center of Northborough. She was the proud and loving wife of former Mayor Frederic A Cole for 30 years before his death in 1990. 

She was born in Marlborough, the daughter of Edward L and Edna F (Smith) Buckley and was recently predeceased by her only sibling, Virginia “Ginny” Selmants of Medina, Ohio.

Carol leaves behind her daughter Christine Cole and husband Edward Cronin of Watertown as well as her son Michael and wife Aimee Cole of Hopkinton. 

She was a proud and doting grandmother to Michael’s sons Breandan and Sean, to whom she was known as “Gramma”.

She also leaves behind her Goddaughter and very dear friend Kristen (Duffin) Harris who has been a tremendous helper to Carol in her later years.

An embodiment of the spirit of the Cork Rebels from whom she was descended, Carol was energetic, adventurous and greatly passionate about all of her interests. She loved watching her birds, whose feeders filled the branches outside her windows, as much as she detested the enemy squirrels that robbed them.  A childhood scare instilled a fear of water and she didn’t swim but the family pool was a joy to her.  It was decorated with lobster traps, buoys, images of lighthouses and regular late-night dips were her solace from the summer heat.  Carol was an accomplished seamstress and expert knitter, often called upon to make corrections or repairs to the knitting of friends or acquaintances. Of all her joys, Carol was unquestionably happiest when surrounded by friends and family, but in almost any setting her ferocious laugh could be heard above all others. 

Carol attended Marlborough Public Schools and was graduated from Marlborough High School with the class of 1952 and then completed a Finishing Secretarial Course and was graduated in 1953 from Fisher Junior College in Boston.  Carol also was a graduate of Aviation Training School in Boston in 1956.

She worked for Studebaker-Packard Corporation from 1953-1957 and then moved away from Marlborough in 1957 to work for United Airlines in New York City, during which time she developed a life-long interest in travel. She returned to Marlborough, married, and worked for a few years at Raytheon in Wayland before taking time to raise her family. She resumed work in the 1970s with the Marlborough School Department in part time clerical positions and then full time as the administrative assistant first for Vice Principal Don Landers and then Paul Kamataris for a total of about 26 years.

She had a long involvement with the Marlborough Democratic City Committee and was a dedicated and life-long communicant of the Immaculate Conception Church.  A committed sports fan, Carol was a regular at Marlborough Shamrocks football games both as a fan and selling hot dogs.  Her love of sports was evidenced by her giant school bulletin board plastered with hundreds of news articles, photos, and other memorabilia from MHS athletes. 

After the death of her husband and well into her retirement Carol returned to travel –  making pilgrimages with groups from IC Church and many land and cruise excursions with friends. Among her many destinations were: Australia (where she reluctantly climbed the Sydney Harbor Bridge), New Zealand, China’s Great Wall, and much of Western Europe. She was particularly fond of Hawaii, sites of religious significance, and her ancestral homeland of Ireland.  Carol also enjoyed community theater, the sounds and sights of the sea, trips to Maine with her high school work friends, and generally being outdoors with friends and family, particularly her beloved grandsons.  While she would cringe at their escapades, she also enjoyed their daredevil spirit and was thrilled by their every accomplishment.

Carol spent her most recent years cared for daily by the gracious and talented staff at Beaumont Skilled Nursing Center in Northborough.  She was well liked for her twinkling, often impish eyes, and her smiling and affable nature. 

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 11 a.m. in Immaculate Conception Church, 11 Prospect St., Marlborough. Burial will follow in Evergreen Cemetery, Wilson St., Marlborough.

A Visitation hour will be held prior to her Mass from 9:30-10:30 in the Short & Rowe Funeral Home, 95 W. Main Street, Marlborough.

In lieu of flowers, in honor Carol’s love of the outdoors and her feathered friends, please consider donating to Massachusetts Audubon in her memory, c/o of Avery Whitlock at 208 South Great Road, Lincoln, MA  01773. To make a gift online please contact Avery via email at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Carolyn "Carol" E. (Buckley) Cole, please visit our floral store.


February 4, 2021

9:30 AM to 10:30 AM
Short & Rowe Funeral Home
95 West Main Street
Marlborough, MA 01752

Mass of Christian Burial
February 4, 2021

11:00 AM
A.M. in Immaculate Conception Church (Marlborough)

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