EASTHAMPTON - Henry "Harry" F. Colt Jr. died on Dec. 1, 2012, at home in Easthampton, surrounded by his sons, a daughter-in-law, a grandson and his beloved wife, Lisa.
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He was born Feb. 19, 1924, in New York City, the son of Henry and Mary Colt.
He graduated from St. George's School, where he captained the baseball team and won the Latin prize. In 1943, after a year at Harvard College, he joined the United States Army Air Force and trained as a navigator. On his first mission, his B-17 was shot down over occupied Belgium. Listed as missing in action for more than a month, he was eventually able to escape with the help of the Belgian Underground. Awarded the Purple Heart, he received his honorable discharge in 1946. He received his A.B. in economics from Harvard the following year.
Fromm 1947 till 1965, he worked in various sales capacities for the Air Reduction Company, a manufacturer of welding gases. From 1965 until 1979, he worked at Harvard College, first as Director of the Harvard College Fund, and later as Director of University Development. After several years as the Vice President of Development at the Childrens Hospital in Boston, he spent the next 20 years as Director of Development and Public Relations at the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, until his retirement at the age of 75. Along the way, he mentored numerous young people in the field of fundraising.
He spent many happy summers on Cape Cod, where he loved playing tennis, mowing the lawn, battling the catbrier and being with his family.
In 2003, Harry and Lisa started a second life, moving from the Boston area to the Lathrop Community in Easthampton, where he served on the board, tutored middle school students, and co-led chair exercise classes. He enjoyed, among many other things, shopping at Big E's, eating at the Apollo Grill, inevitably finishing with a chocolate chip cookie, and weeding Lisa's Buddha garden. But then, Harry enjoyed everything.
Harry is survived by Lisa, his cherished wife of 62 years; their son Harry, III and daughter-in-law, Sandra Bell Colt of Belgrade, Maine; son George and daughter-in-law Anne Fadiman of Whately; son Ned and daughter-in-law Cathy Robinson of Amman, Jordan; son Mark of Medway; and grandchildren Ian, Maya, Susannah, and Henry; as well as numerous much loved nieces and nephews; and many friends, all of whom loved him for his unfailing thoughtfulness, his gentle wisdom, his steadfast loyalty and his everpresent smile.
A celebration of his life will be held early in the new year.
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Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Dec. 8, 2012