John Leo Colle, 73, of Lee, Maine, passed away on May 9, 2013, at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, Maine, after a brief bout with cancer.
Born Nov. 9, 1939, in Kane, he was a son of Felix and Elizabeth Colle.
After graduating from Kane Area High School, John joined the Air Force in 1957 and was sent to Yale University, where he studied to become a Chinese interpreter for the Air Force. In 1965, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English from St. Vincent’s College in Latrobe and continued his education at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, from which he received a master’s degree in 1969.
John served his community as a lifelong high school English teacher, mainly at Hill House High School in New Haven, Conn., where he taught for 27 years until his retirement in 1997.
Wanting to be able to get away from the busyness of Connecticut, in the early 1990s he made his first trip to Maine, where he bought some land and built a cabin. For a few years after his retirement, he would spend the summers at his cabin. Eventually, he decided that he wanted to live there full-time, so he moved to Lee, Maine.
Because of his love of teaching, John went to work for Lee Academy in 2001, first as a substitute and then as a tutor and dorm parent.
John, an avid reader, also had many interests and hobbies, ranging from theater and playing the piano, to raising chickens, rabbits, and breeding huskies. He also loved to get dirt under his nails, which was evident by his flower and vegetable gardens.
For someone from “away,” John seemed to be able to fit right in, no matter where he went. He will be greatly missed by his two sons, David (Jennifer) Colle of Naples, N.Y. and Kevin Colle of New Haven, Conn.; his two grandchildren, Jericho and Sienna; his sisters, Anne Hannold of Gainesville, Fla. and Frances Wallace of Kane; and several nieces, nephews and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, William “B.J.” Colle.
A memorial service was held at Lee Academy on May 23, 2013. There will be a graveside service at St. Callistus Cemetery in July at a date to be announced.
Memorial donations may be made to Lee Academy, 26 Winn Road, Lee, ME 04455, attn. Mary Morris or to the St. Callistus Cemetery Fund, 342 Chase St., Kane, PA 16735.
The Cummings Funeral Home, Inc. is in charge of local arrangements.