Jack “Jay” Colson, 87, of Thicket Court, passed away at 1:50 a.m. October 17, 2016. He was born in 1929 in Scottsville, Kentucky, the son of Jack and Pearlie Colson.
Jay was the third of six children and 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 the age of ten, Jay was proud to be put to work behind a mule and a plow, with his father following behind him 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 there. It was a one room school where all eight grades were taught by one teacher.
When Jay was twelve, his father moved the family to Indianapolis in order 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 twenty-one years. For most of that time, he heated it with wood and, 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 thirty years at the Chrysler plant. An eye injury incurred there sent him to Methodist Hospital where he met his future wife Martha, who was a student nurse. They were married for 61 years.
In retirement, Jay worked for ten years at Trilogy Galleries in Nashville, Indiana.
Jay had a sense of adventure and loved to travel. He and Martha took many trips, mostly to the South, the West and to Canada. They took a Southern Caribbean cruise for their fortieth wedding anniversary. The most exciting vacation was to the Grand Canyon to hike and ride mules when he was 72 years old.
Jay will be remembered as a grateful, generous and compassionate family man who loved life. He never bragged, seldom complained and helped others without expecting anything in return.
Jay’s children live nearby and became “assisted living” for him and Martha in their later years. The 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. There are grandsons, Matthew (Charity) and Michael (Chelsea) Hendren and Benjamin (Melissa) and Jacob Hatton; and great-grandchildren, Katrina, Lillian, Iayn and Cooper Hendren and Lydia Hatton.
The funeral will be conducted at 11 a.m. Friday, October 21, 2016, at Jewell-Rittman Family Funeral Home. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home and one hour prior to the service Friday. Burial will be at Garland Brook Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Our Hospice of South Central Indiana through the funeral home.
“Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.” – Psalm 31:5