Jack “Jay” Colson, 87, of Columbus, passed away at 1:50 a.m. Monday, Oct. 17, 2016.
He was born in 1929 in Scottsville, Kentucky, son of Jack and Pearlie Colson. Jay was the third of six children. He was preceded in death by his sisters, Willa Dean Long, Opal Cheslyn and Helen McClellan. He is survived by a sister, Barbara Fogleman; and a brother, Darrel (Jeanne) Colson, both of the Indianapolis area.
Jay’s parents were sharecroppers, and the older children learned to work hard at early ages in tobacco fields and vegetable gardens. At age 10, Jay was proud to be put to work behind a mule and a plow, with his father following behind to square the corners. Jay enjoyed school and, for a while, he put his books under his arm and walked through a creek on stilts to get to the one-room school where all eight grades were taught by one teacher. When Jay was 12, his father moved the family to Indianapolis to provide a better life. Jay continued to work hard, mowing yards, having two paper routes and delivering groceries.
Jay loved physical activities of all kinds and was good at anything he tried – hunting, fishing, baseball, bowling, dancing, bicycling, skating and running.
With help of family and friends, Jay built a log house from a kit in Brown County, where he lived for 21 years. He heated it with wood most of that time; during one period, he was cutting firewood for five families besides his own. In retirement, he enjoyed basket weaving, oil painting, walking and reading. Jay attended Arsenal Tech High School in Indianapolis and served two years in the U.S. Army, from 1951 to 1953. After that, he worked 30 years at the Chrysler plant. An eye injury there sent him to Methodist Hospital where he met his future wife, Martha, a student nurse. They were married for 61 years. In retirement, Jay worked for 10 years at Trilogy Galleries in Nashville.
Jay had a sense of adventure and loved to travel. He and Martha took many trips, mostly south, west, and to Canada. They took a southern Caribbean cruise for their 40th wedding anniversary. The most exciting vacation was to the Grand Canyon to hike and ride mules when he was 72.
Jay will be remembered as a grateful, generous, compassionate family man who loved life. He never bragged, seldom complained, and he helped others without expecting anything in return. Jay’s children live nearby and became “assisted living” for him and Martha in their later years. Eastlake Woods staff members are kind and helpful to their elderly residents; that has been greatly appreciated.
Jay is survived by his wife; children, Laura (Steve) Morris of Jackson County, Daniel Colson of Brown County, and Carla (Andy) Hatton of Columbus; grandsons, Matthew (Charity) and Michael (Chelsea) Hendren, Benjamin (Melissa) and Jacob Hatton; great-grandchildren, Katrina, Lillian, Iayn, and Cooper Hendren and Lydia Hatton.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 21, at Jewell-Rittman Family Funeral Home, 3855 25th St. in Columbus with Pastor John Armstrong officiating.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, at the funeral home
Burial will be in Garland Brook Cemetery.
Memorial contributions can be made in honor of Jay to Our Hospice of South Central Indiana.