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Colgate “Coke” Prentice ’49

Colgate “Coke” Prentice ’49, who had a long career with the U.S. government, died July 28, 2016, with his three children by his side. He was 92.

Coke spent much of his childhood in Tidewater, Va. In 1943, at age 19, Coke joined the Army Air Corps and served in the Pacific theater as a chief gunner on a B-29.  After the war, Coke attended Swarthmore, where he developed an interest in politics. While visiting Smith College, he met Harris Wofford, later a U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, who had founded the Student World Federalists. Coke joined the organization and eventually served as president. It was at a World Federalist meeting on the Yale campus that Coke met and fell in love with Pamela Davis, a student at Bryn Mawr College. They married Sept. 2, 1950. Coke received a master’s degree from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs. He spent two years as an executive assistant to then-Vice President Richard Nixon, and in several key positions at the State Department, including as the deputy assistant secretary for congressional relations from 1969 to 1973.  After Pam developed dementia, they moved to the Medford Leas Retirement Community in New Jersey. Coke cared for her with extraordinary devotion.


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