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Gerald L. Colbert


Gerry passed away peacefully on March 22, 2024 surrounded by his family and an amazing staff at the Mayo Clinic. His wife of 61 years, Marge, preceded him in death in 2021. Gerry’s 1952 high school yearbook, The Duluth Cathedral Beacon, described him best, “A cheerful lad with a sparkling smile, if laughter’s important, he’s in style.” Gerry embodied this quote throughout his life, making jokes and bringing laughter to others until his final hours. If ever an 89 year old could be described as a cheerful lad it certainly was Gerry! Per Gerry, there is never any problem in life that can’t be solved with a positive attitude and a little laughter.

Gerry was born November 8, 1934 in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Michael and Evelyn Colbert. He was the oldest of four boys: Gene, Jack (deceased) and Tom. The family moved to Marquette, MI for a few years but settled in Duluth, Minnesota for Gerry’s formative years.

Following high school at Cathedral, Gerry attended St. John’s University for a year followed by a stint in a steel mill and two years in the U.S. Army. He was stationed in Vicenza, Italy and was always grateful to Uncle Sam for funding his European vacation.

Upon his return, he enrolled at the University of Minnesota Duluth, earning a B.A. in Business and Economics. The cheerful lad made the acquaintance of a young co-ed at the neighboring College of St. Scholastica, Marge Forster, which led to a very busy year in 1960. With college degree in hand, he started what would turn into a 37 year career with State Farm Insurance and married Marge which would turn into a very fruitful union.

As Gerry climbed the corporate ladder, Marge raised their six children: Mike (Lauri) Colbert of Denver, CO, Dan (Mira) Colbert of Deer Park, IL, Bill (Marie) Colbert of Cary, IL, Pat (Julia) Colbert of Ponte Vedra, FL, Debra (Brian) Murphy of Wethersfield, CT, and Becky (Andy) Dykstra of Ponte Vedra, FL. Gerry and Marge could not have been prouder of their family. Watching them all graduate from college, get married, and raise wonderful families of their own brought them immense joy. They were blessed with 15 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.

Gerry and Marge moved to Fountain Hills in 1998 and became active members of the community through The Church of the Ascension, the Fountain Hills Men’s Club, volunteer groups and of course their beloved game of bridge. He was a devout Catholic with a servant’s heart and was active in multiple parish ministries. He was also active in the Friends of The Library where he and Marge managed the thriving Book Store. Additionally, he served on the Board at The River of Time Museum where Gerry and Marge ran the popular Christmas sale raising much needed funds for the museum. Gerry also enjoyed helping “the old folks” by teaching a Drivers Safety for Seniors course and by preparing tax returns. He was also active in the Mens Club serving on the Board as President. His community efforts were recognized in 2019 when he was inducted into the Lower Verde Valley Hall of Fame.

A visitation will be held on Friday, April 5 from 9:00-10:30 at Messinger Mortuary in Fountain Hills. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11:00 a.m. at the Church of the Ascension, 12615 N. Fountain Hills Blvd, Fountain Hills, AZ. A private burial service will be held Monday, April 8 at National Memorial Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers please consider a charitable donation, in Gerry’s memory, to St. Vincent DePaul Society at the Church of the Ascension.