On Friday morning, Oct. 3, 2014, the saints in heaven danced for joy as John J. Colligan of Endwell, N.Y., joined them at the great nuptial banquet prepared for them by God. There he continues his life with all those he loved who left before him, especially his sons, John R. and Brian A. Colligan; his granddaughter, Elizabeth Ann Colligan; and his grandson, Christopher M. Kline.
John is survived by his wife of 56 years, Kathleen (Hunt) Colligan, and his daughters, Casey and Jeffry Calvey, Anne and Christopher Kline, and Andrea Fortuin. He is the proud grandfather of Nicholas, Mary, Larry and Kathryn Truillo; Sarah and John Kline; Zachary (Loren) Doherty; Hunter and Hailee Fortuin; and Ashwin Thayer. He has also been blessed with three great grandchildren: River, Willow and Noah Doherty. He is also survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Mary and Richard Robinson, and brother-in-law, Reverend Richard Hunt, S.J.
John was born in Watertown, N.Y., on Feb. 8, 1937 to John E. and Agatha Colligan. He graduated from Immaculate Heart Academy in Watertown and received a B.S. from Le Moyne College in 1958; an M.S. in physics from the University of Notre Dame in 1960; a Ph.D from SUNY Buffalo in 1972; and an M.A. from Regis University in 1982.
He came to the Southern Tier to work for IBM from 1962-66, then went on to teach in the Engineering Science Dept. at Broome Community College from 1966-70, then moved to the new School of Advanced Technology at Binghamton University (now the Watson School) where he worked from 1970-1990, eventually becoming the dean.
In 1984, John left the University to work at the Pastoral and Matrimonial Renewal Center from 1984-90 and then as Co-Director of Family Life Education for the Diocese of Syracuse from 1987 until now.
John’s life was profoundly influenced by his Catholic faith and was marked by his love for people, his desire to be of service to others and the dream to build a better world. Through his years of work at the Pastoral and Matrimonial Renewal Center and for the Diocese of Syracuse, he and his wife Kathy traveled across the country offering parish missions and retreats focusing on reconciliation and healing in marriages and families. They have also co-authored several books and articles on marriage and family life. John also served as Catholic Schools Superintendant in the Southern Tier and later, at the age of 74, became interim principal at Seton Catholic Central High School and then taught theology for an additional year.
We remember him as a kind, compassionate man, with a great sense of humor, a willingness to give of himself to others, a joy in life that knew no bounds and as a humble man who had no need to impress. He was very Irish, with a twinkle in his eye, a big hug for everyone and a passion for Notre Dame football. He lived life deeply and fully. We are privileged to have known him.
A Mass of Christian burial was offered Oct. 8, 2014 at St. James Church in Johnson City.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in John’s memory to Catholic Charities Food Pantry, 232 Main St., Binghamton, N.Y. 13905.