Richard A. Colby

Richard A. Colby

Died August 10, 2014

Richard was born in Boston, MA and spent his childhood in Wellesley, MA, and early teenage years in Milwaukee, WI, where his father was an executive with Johnson Controls Corporation.

He prepared at Brookfield High School in Brookfield, WI, and Phillips Exeter Academy, entering Yale in 1961. At Yale he majored in political science and resided in Davenport, where he was captain of its soccer team, played touch football and rowed crew. He was active in the Political Union.

After graduating from Yale, Richard joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in Niger working with local peanut farmers in developing their crops for the export market. Despite having served in the Peace Corps, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and spent a two-year tour of duty in Seoul, South Korea.

In 1970 Richard joined the Johnson Controls Corporation in Milwaukee where he became manager of corporate telecommunications.
He married Ellen Jane Phelps in 1974; their son, Jonathan, was born in 1979.

In 1990 the family moved to Atlanta, GA, where he continued his career in the information systems field until his early retirement in 2001 due to multiple sclerosis.

Richard died peacefully in hospice care at Emory University Hospital Midtown on August 10, 2014 after a short battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Ellen, his son Jonathan, of San Francisco, CA, and brothers Chris and Robert.

Karl Roider remembers: Being from a public high school in a little Ohio town, I had never met a Preppy before, and Dick was the first one I got to know. He was an across-the-hall roommate our freshman year. He had a great sense of humor, an open personality, and taught me a lot about prep schools and what the prep school environment meant in those days. I shared with others stories that he told me for a long time after I left Yale. I was really sorry to see his name on the list.

Duncan Sutherland remembers: Pleasant memories of Dick came back last year when his son Jonathan visited with us. So sad that he is no longer with us, nor able to enjoy his son.

Henry Howerton remembers: I particularly remember our frequent nightly squash (the only sport in which I have ever enjoyed any physical advantage) games. Dick was a great opponent a well as a good friend. He had a distinct way of expressing his displeasure – “piss me off, piss me off” repeated only twice in staccato, rapid fire fashion. Whenever (read “frequently”) I think that Carol is complaining a bit much, that has become my default response. Needless to say I think of him often.

William Patton remembers: Dick was one of my roommates sophomore and junior year in Davenport. I always think of him as a gentle, modest person of great kindness with a quiet sense of humor.