Cole Eric Verploeg was born March 10, 1991, in Steamboat Springs to Monica and Eric Verploeg. He attended kindergarten at Strawberry Park and first to sixth grade at Christian Heritage School. He returned to Strawberry Park for middle school and was a junior at Steamboat Springs High School.
Cole loved sports and outdoors. He learned to ski at age 3 and started playing ice hockey at 5. He enjoyed hockey, football, golf, skiing and lacrosse. His hockey nickname was "Colie the Goalie."
The outdoors became his second home. His wardrobe was Carhartt's and Cabela's. For Cole, there was never a bad day of hunting or fishing, and never a bad piece of "camo." Cole enjoyed traveling, flying, sailing with his family, and most recently, scuba diving.
Cole was a consistent honor roll student. He lettered in football, hockey and academics. This past season he was named to Academic First Team All-State in football. History became his favorite subject.
Friends and family were Cole's most valuable possession. He treasured his relationships with teammates, buddies and family. He was a sensitive and caring young man : a gentle giant. Cole was a great big kid with an even bigger heart. He passed from this world Jan. 12, 2008.
Cole is survived by his mother, Monica, and father, Eric; brothers Jack and Grant; and sister Katelin, all of Steamboat Springs; paternal grandfather Warren Verploeg and his wife Judy of Storm Lake, Iowa; maternal grandmother Bette Peck of Nampa, Idaho; and many cousins and aunts and uncles.
He was preceded in death by his grandmother, Joan Verploeg; and grandfather, Leroy "Bud" Peck.
Services for Cole were held Jan. 16, 2008, at Steamboat Springs High School.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, P.O. Box 881869, Steamboat Springs, CO 80488 in memory of Cole Verploeg for charities to be named.