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Francis Coll Jr.


1924 - 2015 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Francis Coll Jr. Obituary
Francis Joseph Coll, Jr.

1924 - 2015 WILLIAMSTOWN Francis Joseph Coll, Jr., 91, died peacefully of natural causes at his home on October 24, 2015. Born in Danbury, CT, on June 16, 1924, he was the eldest of six children of Francis J. Coll, Sr. and Elizabeth Howard Coll. Francis is survived by his devoted wife of 54 years, Marilyn Ward Coll, his brother, Edward Coll of Hawaii, dozens of nieces and nephews, and his loving children, including, Kathleen Marshall and Haryl Pascal, Thomas Marshall, Delia Marshall and Tom Wallace, Kevin and Doreen Coll. "Papa" was a loving and dedicated grandfather to his six grandchildren: Nora, Oona and Neve Wallace, and Sean, Daria and Chloe Coll. He was proud of his Irish heritage, and was the grandson of immigrant Edward Coll from County Limerick. He was a first cousin of Eamon de Valera, former president of Ireland, with whom he had an affectionate relationship. During the 1950s, De Valera appointed him liaison to the Irish-American press for the Irish government. Francis grew up in Washington, CT, in rural Litchfield County, and was an avid gardener and amateur landscape designer. During World War II, he served his country by enlisting in the Marine Corps. He finished his tour of duty as staff sergeant in 1946, never forgetting his rifle number. Courtesy of the GI bill (which he referred to as "the best piece of legislation ever written"), he attended the University of Connecticut and graduated in 1952. He continued his graduate studies at the Sorbonne University in Paris, where he lived for two years and learned to speak like a Parisian. He taught high school for over 40 years, beginning his career at Peekskill Military Academy in Peekskill, NY. He was a founding faculty member of Mount Greylock Regional High School in 1961, where he was Coordinator of the Foreign Language Department and a regular performer in the faculty plays. He taught French and Spanish to generations of students, elegantly dressed in a tie and jacket until he retired in 1995. A talented linguist, craftsman and artist, he was a Renaissance man. He turned a summer cottage in south Williamstown into a lifelong home surrounded by beautiful gardens. He was a silversmith, jewelry designer, and gifted painter and print-maker, exhibiting work in 1999 in a Soho gallery in New York. Francis was a lifelong Catholic and devout communicant of St. Patrick and St. Raphael Parish in Williamstown. FUNERAL NOTICE: A Memorial Mass will be held at 11am on Saturday, October 31 at St's Patrick and Raphael Church. Visiting hours will be held at Flynn & Dagnoli Funeral Home, WEST CHAPELS 521 West Main St., North Adams, on Friday evening, October 30, from 5:30 to 9pm. The family would like to extend heartfelt gratitude to the wonderful staff at Gentiva Home Services, At Home TLC and Hospice Care in the Berkshires. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Hospice Care in the Berkshires through the funeral home. To send a card or a message please visit : www.flynndagnolifuneralhomes.com
Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Oct. 27, 2015
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