Mr. Lauren Adams Colby, Jr., 81, of Frederick, died on May 22, 2012 at his home. Mr. Colby was the beloved husband of Kristine S. Colby and the son of the late Lauren Adams Colby, Sr. and Sarah Decker Colby Davis.
Lauren grew up in Owego, NY, graduated from Harpur College of the State University of New York (later the State University of New York at Binghamton) and received his law degree from Syracuse University College of Law in 1955. Upon graduation, Lauren became an Attorney Adviser for two years at the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, D.C. and thereafter practiced radio broadcast law at the firm Fly, Shuebruk, Blume &Gaguinein Washington, D.C. until 1961 when he opened his own office in the capital. Having purchased radio station WTHU in Thurmont in 1971 with his former wife, Petrina Belsito Colby, he moved to Frederick County from Arlington, VA and eventually established an office where he practiced until a month before his death. Lauren was also of counsel to the firm Putbrese, Hunsaker & Trent in Woodstock, VA. He was completely devoted to his clients throughout the U.S. and highly respected by his professional colleagues for his expertise and in depth knowledge of radio broadcast law. Lauren served as a mentor to many young lawyers throughout his career and was a member of the Federal Communications Bar Association, the D.C. Bar Association and the Maryland Bar Association.
An avid hobbyist, Lauren built and repaired electronic devices starting with radios as a teenager. He loved to tinker in his workshop and when computers first came out he often fixed them for friends and neighbors and greatly enjoyed the solitude and satisfaction of this endeavor. Lauren was a former licensed ham radio operator and a licensed private pilot with an instrument rating. He was passionate about flying and flew his Cessna P210 on vacations to the Caribbean, Canada and throughout the U.S. Lauren especially loved the West and the many trips to Colorado, Montana and Wyoming as well as to Moosehead Lake in Maine. Growing up during the popularity of railroads as a mode of transportation, he developed a passion for stream trains and tookmany rides on them with his family wherever they were running.
Lauren's other passion was his love for cigars and smoking. A smoker since law school, he was never without a cigar in his mouth. He was intellectually curious and devoted much time and research to the topic of tobacco which resulted in a publication he wrote titled "In Defense of Smoking" that was available on his web site. It generated interest and controversy from people throughout the world and Lauren was often interviewed by the press and media for his unorthodox opinions on this subject.
Lauren loved all animals, including his dog, Sarah, and cat, Benny. He was a former member of the Director's Circle at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. and a benefactor of the Panda House.
Surviving in addition to his loving wife, Kristine, are his two children: Charles Lauren Colby and wife Deborah Schloss Colby of Herndon, VA; Francesca Snarski and husband Michael Snarski of Baltimore, MD; five grandchildren: Sarah Louise Colby, Matthew Harold Colby, Nicholas James Snarski, Vincent Stanley Snarski and Peter Lauren Snarski; and a cousin, Mary Donnelly of Nichols, NY. Lauren will also be remembered by special friends Mary and Robert Zak and his two secretaries, Traci Maust and Jessecca Muskett.
Interment will be private and arrangements made by Keeney & Basford Funeral Home. A celebration of Lauren's life will be held at a future date.
Memorial contributions may be made in his memory to the Animal Welfare League of Frederick County, 1202 E. Patrick St., #13A, Frederick MD 21701; North American Bear Center, P.O. Box 161, Ely, MN 55731; and The Elephant Sanctuary, P.O. Box 393, Hohenwald, TN 38462.
Published in The Frederick News-Post on May 23, 2012.