Obituary: JERRY COLLIGAN
October 17, 1935 – October 14, 2023
On October 14, 2023, we lost our dear one, Jerry Colligan. Jerry was born on October 17, 1935 to Frank and Anne Zawislak Colligan in San Francisco. He enjoyed the freedom of being a boy in the 1940s in the City, where a nickel bus ride would take him and his friends all over town, especially to the ferry, where nickel hotdogs were available on the ride to Oakland. At 15, he began an after-school job as a butcher, ultimately becoming a journeyman.
Jerry married Joan Anderson in 1953. He joined the US Army the following year and spent most of his 2-year service in Germany. Returning home, he attended Cogswell College in San Francisco, graduating in mechanical engineering. He and Joan moved to Campbell CA where they raised their 2 children, Laura and Ed. Jerry and Joan moved to the Seattle area in 1977.
Jerry worked throughout the western United States as an industrial sales representative for several companies. He formed his own company in 1994, retiring in 1999. He had a passion for geology, taking countless classes at community colleges. His great love of the outdoors led him to excel in cross country skiing, biking, hiking, and tennis. He participated in many races and marathons, including the Great Ski Race. While in Washington he developed a love of teaching cross country skiing.
After Joan died in 2000, Jerry moved to Lake Tahoe, teaching cross country skiing at both Northstar and Spooner. He lived mainly in Incline Village, pursuing his outdoor activities throughout the area. In 2010 he met Syl Purdy, and they married in early 2012. Together they skied, hiked, played tennis and golf, travelled, and danced as much as possible, until recently, when his difficulty breathing made this no longer possible. Still, he took joy in experiencing the mountains, trees, birds, and beauty of Lake Tahoe.
He is survived and will be sorely missed by his wife Syl Purdy-Colligan, daughter Laura Brown, brother Frank Colligan (Carol), grandsons Travis and Ryan Brown, stepson Jim Purdy (Ellie), stepdaughter Elisa Bandelin, step-granddaughters Hailey and Sydney Bandelin, and many cousins. He was a member of Incliners, Crystal Bay Yacht Club, NSF, the Veterans Club, the WC Honorary Sherriff Assn., and St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church.
A Celebration of Life for him will be held at Saint Francis of Assisi Church in Incline Village on Saturday, October 28th, at 12:30 PM. In lieu of flowers, please send a donation in his name to Nature Conservancy.
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