John Louis Colombo, 77, was born and raised in the great baseball city of St. Louis, Missouri. His early claim to fame was attending St. Ambrose “on the Hill” with Yogi Berra and Joe Garagiola. John died at Rex Hospital on Friday, Oct. 24, due to complications following a heart attack.
John was the son of the late Angeline and Charles Colombo and the brother of the late Charles Colombo, Jr. He is survived by his loving wife of 42 years, Mary Reinhardt Colombo; his son John Edward Colombo and fiancee Dolores Meier of Godfrey, Ill.; granddaughters Samantha and Amber Colombo of Fargo, N.D.; sisters-in law Carol, Ann and Jean Reinhardt; and many nieces and nephews.
John attended Christian Brothers College High School, Cardinal Glennon Seminary and St. Louis University. John was a member of the Army Reserves for six years. He was the owner of Colombo Dental Laboratory in St. Louis before moving to NC where he was Production Supervisor at both Borg Warner and Champion Products. Later in life he worked as a dental technician at UNC and taught several dental courses at the UNC School of Dentistry, Wake Tech, and the Women’s Prison in Raleigh. John greatly loved teaching and regretted not having followed that path earlier in his career.
John developed many friendships over the years, maintaining membership in The Knights of Columbus (Sir Knight, 4th Degree, Council 9709 at St Francis and Assembly 2446, Cary/Apex), the Italian Club, the Raleigh Sports Club and the Crabtree breakfast group. He was exceedingly generous, giving to many organizations that provided food for the less fortunate. He loved shopping for the children at the Oxford Home each Christmas, and one winter donated 100 pairs of gloves to the Raleigh Rescue Mission. Having rescued an abused dog in childhood, he contributed throughout his life to various animal welfare organizations. He had a special love for his ’61 T-bird convertible and for all things Halloween. He was forever on the hunt for the newest and most unique Halloween decorations and animated mannequins, welcoming the neighborhood into his home to enjoy his seasonal handiwork.
Services will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Church on Friday, Oct. 31.(How appropriate!) Visitation will be at 9:30 with Mass at 10 AM. Mary requests that those in attendance wear joyful and bright colors to celebrate a life well lived. Internment will immediately follow the service in the St. Francis Columbarium.
The family would like to thank the staff of the Cardiac Critical Care Unit at Rex with gratitude for exceptional care by the nursing staff. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy and appreciation for John’s life may be made to Catholic Parish Outreach, the Raleigh Rescue Mission or a charity of your choice.