Donald Gene Colwell, 84, of Mt. Vernon, formerly from Bluford, beloved husband and best friend of Norma (Fitzjerrells) Colwell for 54 years, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Thursday, November 24, 2016.
Don was born Thursday, October 6, 1932 in Mattoon, Illinois to Fred and Freda (Romoser) Colwell and was raised in Bluford from an early age where he lived most of his life. He graduated from Webber Township High School (WTHS) in 1950, where he played athletics and was a class officer. He attended the Virginia Military Institute on a basketball scholarship and received a BA degree in 1954. He later on went to Southern Illinois University to earn a teaching certificate. He also spent time in the United States Air Force as a pilot and an officer.
Don was a mathematics and drivers education teacher at WTHS for 49 years. He had the privilege of teaching most of Bluford how to drive. He was the head basketball coach at WTHS for 10 years and drove the school bus for 32 years. In 1997, Don was recognized for his years of service to WTHS athletics by being inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.
Don was a devout Christian and attended the Bluford Church of God for over 80 years. There he served as an usher, Sunday School teacher, and church treasurer. He was active in many organizations, including the Ruritan Club, friend of Mitchell Museum, member/docent of Jefferson Co. Historical Society, member of the Senior Circle at Crossroads Hospital, a 50-year member of the Masonic Lodge, and was a member of the Illinois Retired Teachers Association. In 2008, he was selected as a Senior Saint by the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce.
Besides his wife, Norma, Don is survived by his two sons Craig Colwell and wife Amy, of Dunlap, and Brad Colwell and his wife Mary of Murphysboro; his grandsons, Alexander (Becky), Nathan, and Andrew; as well as a brother Dale (Kathie) Colwell, and a sister Debra (Ted) Gresham; and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Freda Colwell of Bluford.
We thank God for the gift of his life and the blessing of the time we spent with him.
The Funeral Service will be held on Monday, November 28, 2016 at 10:30 A.M. at the Church of God in Bluford.
Visitiation for Don will be on Sunday, November 27, 2016 from 4 - 8:00 P.M. at the Church. Rev. Jimmie Fitzjerrells and Rev. Benton Fitzjerrells will officiate.
Burial will be at Mt. Vernon Memorial Gardens in Woodlawn, Illinois.
For those who wish, memorials may be given to the Bluford Church of God or the Don Colwell Educational Scholarship Fund and will be accepted at the funeral home or mailed to Hughey Funeral Home, P.O. Box 721, Mount Vernon, Illinois 62864.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Hughey Funeral Home where you may call (618) 242-3348 or visit www.hugheyfh.com for further information and to send condolences.
Published on November 25, 2016