It is with great sadness that ASLO announces the passing of long-time L&O Managing Editor Raelyn Cole. Raelyn Cole served ASLO as Managing Editor of L&O from 1965 to 1996, spanning the editorships of Francis A. (Dick) Richards, Yvette H. Edmondson, and Peter A. Jumars. She stayed on for much of the term of David Kirchman, overseeing the closing of the Seattle “office” of L&O. Lyn was recognized with the Tommy and Yvette Edmondson Distinguished Service Award as she finished her long and productive career with ASLO.
Former L&O Editor Peter Jumars has written a tribute to Raelyn which will appear in the February issue of the L&O Bulletin and is republished below. An editorial fellowship fund in honor of Raelyn has also been established. More details are available here.
A tribute to Raelyn Cole, managing editor of L&O (1965-1996)
by Peter A. Jumars, Professor Emeritus, University of Maine
Raelyn Cole served ASLO as Managing Editor of L&O from 1965 to 1996, spanning the editorships of Francis A. (Dick) Richards, Yvette H. Edmondson, and Peter A. Jumars. She stayed on for much of the term of David Kirchman, overseeing the closing of the Seattle “office” of L&O. Lyn was recognized with the Tommy and Yvette Edmondson Distinguished Service Award as she finished her long and productive career with ASLO.
Lyn was the quiet but strong force behind the consistent look, feel, and intelligibility of L&O across three decades. Although Lyn attended ASLO meetings, she shunned the limelight, saving her professional energy for editing. For those unfamiliar with the symptoms and etiology of good editing, it is a contagious obsession: And once is never enough. Dale Cole, her scientist husband of nearly six decades, reports that, “Besides her professional editing for L&O, if she had the opportunity she edited every talk I gave, paper I wrote, and given the chance every email I sent. Editing for her was a part of her fabric, a piece of her human nature, an obsession should you wish.”
Lyn led a rich personal life. She graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin and received a teaching certificate in English from the University of Washington. She mothered four sons. She was an avid outdoorswoman, a lifetime member of the Wisconsin Memorial Union Hoofer Climbing Club, and hiked and climbed in the New Zealand Southern Alps, the Canadian Rockies, the Dolomites as well as the United States. She climbed Mt. Rainier twice in her many ascents. She owned the century-old schooner Mary Hillyer, and plied the northeast Pacific and its inland seas, including a dozen trips to Alaska. Lyn brought me the best oysters I ever ate—by sailing ship from Queen Charlotte Sound.
During Yvette Edmondson’s and my tenures as editors, visiting dignitaries would often ask to see the “L&O office.” Yvette’s office was a small room off of Tommy Edmondson’s lab, well insulated with L&O manuscripts. Mine was an old motel room (the motel having been built for a Seattle world’s fair). Lyn’s office was more of an outdoor adventure, outboard on the sunset side of an old barge used for many years by the University of Washington as extra storage space. It baked in summer and froze in winter. The fingerless gloves that Lyn often wore gave the barge a bit of the look and feel of a riverboat gambling operation, but the quality of the L&O product was never in more capable hands.