In Memoriam


Grace Veronica Ellis Cole

(January 23, 1943 – July 18, 2015)

This online memorial was created in memory of Grace Cole, who touched many through her art and, more importantly, through her life.

A presence in the Chicago art community for over 30 years, Grace possessed the traits of the best artists. Curious, creative, and willing to resist being typecast with a single technique or subject matter, she found beauty and inspiration in all aspects of life.

Born January 23, 1943, in Chicago, Illinois, Grace grew up in Oak Lawn, Illinois. Shortly after graduating from Academy of Our Lady High School, she married and moved to Glenwood, Illinois, to raise her three daughters. When her children entered school, she began studying art privately, participating in art shows throughout the south suburbs.

As her children were entering college, she got divorced but stayed in area, teaching classes in drawing and painting at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights and privately in her studio. When she moved to Chicago, she continued to make a living through her art, selling paintings and drawings through galleries, doing commissioned portraits, and teaching students in both her own studio and in art venues around the city.

When not engaged in doing or teaching art, Grace spent time with family and friends, took classes, travelled, and did volunteer work around the city.

Please let us know you visited by sharing a memory of Grace in the Online Guest Book below; to leave condolences, please click here, or visit the Chicago Tribune‘s online obituary, which also has a condolences page.


8 Responses to “In Memoriam

  • This is very saddening…Grace and I had many great times together. Careers, time and distance sent us in different directions in recent years, but memories still remain. I hope that she has found peace and is painting some new faces and venues as well as giving lessons. Grace, we will miss you!

  • Je suis très triste d’apprendre le décès de Grace . Venue plusieurs fois dans mon petit village d’Anjou (France) et chez moi, à “La Petite Ferme” pour suivre les cours de l’Ecole Albert Defois et par la suite accompagnée d’élèves pour des “workshops” de découverte, sa gentillesse et son charisme n’ont laissé que de bons souvenirs à toutes les personnes qu’elle a rencontrées ici. Les années et la distance nous ont séparées, mais j’ai toujours gardé dans mon coeur ce lien d’amitié inaltérable. Au revoir Grace !…

  • I am shocked and saddened to hear Grace is no longer with us. I will miss her friendship. As studio mates at West Jackson she was generous and inspiring. Always supportive and sharing of her gifts and knowledge. She was a true brother in arms and lived by example. The world will be a lesser place without her. Happily Grace has left behind a body of work that will continue to inspire future generations of artists and patrons alike.

  • I first met Grace almost 30 years ago at the Old Town Street fair, where we bought one of her figure paintings. Many years later after I retired and had a studio in the Fine Arts Building, I encountered her again and attended her workshop, subsequently purchasing her wonderful pencil drawing of Ed Paschke. Grace was a wonderful person and artist and I hope to celebrate the fall event. Please keep me informed

  • Grace inspired me as she did so many others. I’ve not known a more beautiful, sensitive, and passionate person then Grace. Dining, wining, art, music and travel were some of her more enthusiastic pursuits. But if asked what she was most proud of she would tell you of her three beautiful girls. Grace gave us so much more than she took, I will miss her dearly.

  • Grace was a truly gifted artist and cherished friend…I traveled in a small group that she lead in the Loire Valley commemorating the 500th Anniversary of Leonardo Di Vinci’s birth in 2002…She put so much effort and detail into the project sharing her knowledge and creativity with us…Knowing her was a life enriching experience…We own two of her treasured art works…Some people make the world a better place just be being in it….she was one of these…
    A lovely woman who GRACED all with her presence…
    My heartfelt condolances to her loving family, may God’s Blessings be yours…And, May the Perpetual Light shine upon her soul…..

  • Grace was my teacher and friend for many years. She was inspiring and honest and always kind. She loved music, and movies but mostly what I will remember her as, is a true humanitarian and a great friend. She cared deeply about people and it showed in her portraits and in her life. I loved her company- she enjoyed laughing and our conversations ran the gamut from the arts to the personal. I will miss her so much.

  • Grace was a wonderful friend and great artist. We were both Southsiders, and only a year apart in age. I am lucky enough to have a charcoal of myself done by her (which the family will be fighting over), and a wonderful oil painting of a naked man named “Michael” that I treasure, – and have restrained from licking for about 18 yrs. All the movies and dinners and pleasant time spent together will be long remembered. God speed, Grace.
    With love,
    Bob van Riemsdyk

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