Albert William “Grampa” Colby, Jr
Bossier City, LA – You know what? Grampa Loves You .
MSGT Albert “Al” William Colby Jr., USAF, Retired, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, August 4, 2019, with his daughter by his side. He was 84 years old.
Born on October 29, 1934, in Huntington Station, Long Island, New York to Albert W. Colby Sr. and Ethel Daly Colby, Albert had six siblings: Thomas Sloan (D), Joey Sloan (D), Dennis Colby (D), Christina Colby-Olsen (D), Ethel Colby-Petry, and Marie Colby-Robinson. He met his soulmate, Jeanette “Jeanie” Stiles, during his senior year of high school and the two quickly fell in love.
Al enlisted in the Air Force on January 6, 1953, and was later stationed in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Not wanting to be apart from her beloved any longer, Jeanie hopped a train to Florida and the two later eloped on December 20, 1953. Together, Al and Jeanie traveled the world with their 4 children and were happily married for 64 years.
In that time, Al served his country along with his fellow servicemen of the 14th Air Commando Wing at Nha Trang Air Base in Vietnam from 19671968 as an Aircraft Maintenance Controller. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with the “V” device for “heroic or meritorious achievement or service” after subjecting himself to imminent danger from incoming mortar rounds and fire on the base’s flight line by driving a 5,000-gallon fuel truck from within 75 feet of a burning aircraft. His heroism and selfless duty to serve and protect saved countless lives and further damage to the base.
In his 20 years of service, Al was stationed in Florida, Nebraska, Virginia, New York, Massachusetts, Vietnam, California, Guam, and finally Louisiana, where he retired on March 1, 1973.
Upon retiring from the Air Force, Al continued to serve our country through the USAF Reserve until 1983, as well as working in civil service as a Maintenance Foreman for the VA until he received disability retirement. He also served as Post Senior Vice Commander of VFW Post 5951 and a Life Member of the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 30.
In his full retirement, friends and family members could find him hanging out at the local VA or bowling alley, drinking Old Milwaukee, or building things in his tool shed. He insisted that everyone call him “Grampa” and would always clarify to friends and family that Jeanie was his “Ole Woman” – not “old” woman.
His grandchildren always found it funny how all of his pockets had holes, but were nonetheless eager to snag whatever loose change that conveniently fell out and landed under his recliner. And even though his family always knew the answer, they couldn’t help but have him finish the bit when he would ask, “You know what?”
“Grampa loves you.”
Grampa is survived by his children Albert III and Beverly Colby, Cathy and Louis Cazares, Julie Ann and Jeffrey Vose; 8 grandchildren (Christopher, Jennifer, Brandi, Stacy, Matthew, Bethany, Nickolas, and Brennen) and 11 great-grandchildren. He is greeted in Heaven by his beloved wife and ole woman, Jeanie, and his son, Steven, the family dog, Tissy, and the rest of his family.
On behalf of Grampa, the Colby Family would like to extend a “super special thanks” for all the years of help and service from Zemeron Vance with Red Ball Medical, and Alex and Reggie with Lincare Oxygen. We would also like to extend another “super special thanks” to all who helped Grandma and Grampa over the years – Albertha Pugh, Lisa Hicks Broadway with Amedisys Hospice, Chad Johnston, Don Roberts, Lisa Carrington, and many more.
Funeral services will be held Sunday, August 11 at 2 p.m. at Hillcrest Memorial Funeral Home. Pastor Calvin Hubbard will serve as officiant along with Father Moran with the Catholic Diocese of Barksdale AFB, La. The family will welcome friends to a visitation from 1 p.m. until service time.
Chris McCasland, Ernest Elizondo, Jeffrey Vose, Don Roberts, Chad Johnston, Albert Colby III (Butch), Louis Cazares, and Matthew Colby will serve as pallbearers for Sundays service. Serving as honorary pallbearers are Brennen Vose, Jacob Baxter, and Doug Sullivant.
You were loved beyond measure, Dad (Grampa)– We will meet again one day when God calls us all home. We love you!.