Albert "Gene" Colaw
The Orange County Register 3/3/2008
Colaw, Albert "Gene",
was born 27 June 1922 in Buffalo, Kansas. He died 2 March 2008 at home
in Laguna Niguel, California with his family around him.
He was the son of Nellie (Wood) Colaw and Bernard R. Colaw of Rest, Nebraska.
He attended Chanute High School in Kansas graduating in 1940.
He saw service as an officer in WWII in the U.S. Navy participating in
amphibious landings in the Pacific Theatre at Saipan in the Marianas and
at Okinawa where his ship underwent severe kamikaze attacks for several
After WWII he married his sweetheart Josette, who was a French citizen
and refugee from occupied France. They married in Portland Oregon in 1946.
After naval service, Gene pitched baseball in the minor leagues in the
Yankee organization as a fireballing left-hander. He also returned to
school and graduated from Rockhurst College in Kansas City in 1951.
He again saw naval service for the Korean War in underwater demolitions,
and after that conflict was discharged as a full lieutenant.
With his baseball career over because of arm problems, Gene worked for
Travelers Insurance Co. for 40 years retiring as an executive vice president
in 1986 to travel with Josette, work his beloved garden, and fuss over
Gene is survived by Josette, his wife of 62 years; his four children,
Thierry Patrick, Joelle, Chris and Kip; his niece, Jeannine Duncan, and
five grandchildren, Nick, Case, Brittany, Kristen, and Clayton.
Thanks to the caring staff at South Coast Med, Saddleback Acute Rehab,
and Hospice. Pacific View Mortuary