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Reestablished a Red Cross chapter in this area Gaylord W. Colle, the son of John Clouse Colle and Blanche (Trott) Colle, was born Dec. 11, 1914, in Little River, Kan., and passed away March 4, 2007, at the age of 92.
Gaylord W. “Red Colle By Golly” began his Red Cross career in 1936 as a member of the American National Red Cross, Wichita Kan., Sedgwick County Chapter’s Water Safety Committee as a water safety instructor. The former designation “examiner” had just been changed that year. He also was a first aid instructor for the chapter. Colle and his wife, Billie, were first aid and water safety instructors for the Washington, D.C., Chapter, 1939-1945. During that time he became assistant and then director of the chapter’s first aid, water safety and accident prevention programs. During that period he worked with Mable Boardman in her project the “Truck-Ambulance Corps.”
Along with this World War II preparedness effort Commodore Longfellow was assigned by the national organization to the Washington, D.C., FAWSAP office. There Colle, along with Commodore and others, worked to install first aid training in government offices. They also conducted “water shows” at military bases and other places.
In 1945 Colle was appointed director of The Kansas City Missouri Chapter’s First Aid, Water Safety, Small Craft and Accident Prevention Services. Later the Accident Prevention Program was discontinued by the National Organization and became in time to be known as the “Safety Programs.” In 1965 Colle was employed by the national organization as manager of the Rapid City, Black Hills Chapter in South Dakota and the West River Division. This was the first trial of the then national organization division concept. In 1968 the Denver Colorado Chapter and Rocky Mountain Division employed him as director of Disaster Services and administrative assistant to the manager. He retired there in 1980 and continued as a volunteer until 1986 when he completed 50 years of Red Cross service. The most dramatic disaster he worked in during that time was the Big Thompson canyon and river flood. There were 139 deaths and nine are still missing.
In 1995 Colle accepted a volunteer assignment to reestablish a chapter in Ava and Douglas County where he resided at the time of his death. He would most like to be remembered for his pioneering contributions to Red Cross.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Billie Colle, and his parents, John C. Colle and Blanche (Trott) Colle.
Survivors include five sons, Gary Colle, of Kansas City, Larry Colle, of Houston Lake, John Colle and Margaret, of Blue Springs, Gregg Colle and Lisa, of Orangeburg, S.C., Christopher Colle and Vickie, of Idaho Springs, Colo.; three daughters, Colette Chambellen and Clarke, of Erie, Colo., Janelle Shiner and Steve, of Idaho Springs, Colo., and Annette Colle, of Georgetown, Colo.; 12 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and his great friend and business partner, Fred Hansen, of Ava.
Cremation is under the direction of Clinkingbeard Funeral Home Ava. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Clinkingbeard Funeral Home, Ava. Online condolences may be made on their website at www. clinkingbeardfuneralhome.com.