Stephen “Steve” Gregory Colgan

On Friday, December 18, 2020, Stephen Gregory Colgan, loving husband and father of three, passed away at the age of 77 in Front Royal, Virginia. He was born on March 23, 1943, at the Pensacola Naval Hospital, where his father was stationed for flight training.

An intense curiosity for and love of all things sea, sky, and space led to an accomplished career in the U.S. Navy and aerospace industry. With a degree in aeronautics and science from Miami University’s NROTC program (Oxford, OH) and a Master of Science degree in Meteorology from the Naval Postgraduate School, Steve served in the U.S. Navy for 22 years, retiring as a Commander in 1987. He earned numerous awards and contributed to breakthroughs that revolutionized capabilities in weather analysis and forecasting.

He continued his life of service to the country as a systems engineer in the aerospace divisions of General Electric, Martin Marietta, and Lockheed Martin, retiring in 2003. He also served his community through 10 years as secretary for the Ruritan Club.

On August 3, 1968, he married Jane Molnar. They raised one son, Patrick Colgan, and two daughters, Cheryl Strzemienski (David), and Jennifer Colgan (Nathan Rud). He is also survived by his grandsons, Stephen and Daniel Strzemienski, and sister, Kathy Palmer. Steve was preceded in death by his father, Captain Edward G. Colgan, USN, and mother, June Colgan.

Steve had a wry sense of humor. He enjoyed musicals, Star Trek, and Elvis Presley, and was an excellent golfer and meticulous crafter of plane and ship models.

A funeral service will be conducted at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the Alzheimer’s Association in Steve’s Honor.

  29 comments for “Stephen “Steve” Gregory Colgan

  1. Suzette MacKenzie
    December 21, 2020 at 7:35 pm

    You will be missed by many but especially your family. Our nation is grateful for all you have done for us.

  2. Helene Richards
    December 21, 2020 at 7:51 pm

    So very sorry. Al and I remember many delightful days on the golf course with Steve. He was a genuine friend with a wonderful sense of humor. Our love and prayers are with Steve and his wonderful family.

    Helene and Al

  3. Kathy Palmer
    December 21, 2020 at 8:46 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to him. He was an amazing guy.

    I am so sorry he had to make this heartbreaking journey, but he didn’t make it alone.
    He had all of you with him every step of the way.

    He loved and was loved.

    Keep remembering the rainbows.

  4. Evelyn Hull
    December 21, 2020 at 8:53 pm

    What a wonderful person he was. The memories you have will comfort you and help you through the difficult days ahead.

  5. Roland Brendel
    December 21, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    So sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and your family.A great guy he will be missed

  6. Mary Jane & Lynn
    December 21, 2020 at 9:29 pm

    So glad to have had the privilege of knowing this kind, good hearted man. We will never forget him and his wonderful family will always be special to us now and in the future.

    • Jane Colgan
      December 22, 2020 at 4:10 pm

      Do you remember the time we were playing Penn National and a course marshal said we had to finish up because bad weather was coming in? We told him we had fifteen more minutes to play because Steve was watching its progress from home and pinpointed the arrival on the course almost to the minute!

  7. Joanne Maisano
    December 21, 2020 at 9:41 pm

    I loved his sense of humor. I loved to walk with him and Rudy. They will be reunited. A wonderful and interesting man who will be missed. Hugs to you all!

  8. Joanne Kranich
    December 21, 2020 at 10:12 pm

    I had the privilege of caring for him this past year….I will surely miss him. My heartfelt condolences are with his precious wife and family.J

    • Cheryl
      December 21, 2020 at 11:35 pm

      My fondest memories begin at the beach, digging in the sand for mole crabs together.
      We would go to Solomons Island and go crabbing off the pier or he’d drive us about in a motor boat.
      There was nothing like his BBQ chicken or the Silver Queen corn feasts.
      As a child, sitting in his “boat” as he relaxed on the couch and tickling his feet.
      And the time we were on fishing excursion and a water spout appeared. We all were instructed to take cover as he watched.
      He used to bring me dolls when he traveled to far off places.
      Never a man of many words but his love for his family and love for country was his drive to always succeed.

  9. Katelynn
    December 21, 2020 at 10:30 pm

    You were an Uncle that taught my sisters and I many things. From black widows to chocolate chips are great in pancakes. Fly high. Rest In Peace.

    • Cris Quinn
      December 22, 2020 at 12:56 am

      Steve was always so kind and intelligent. He always made me smile with his wonderful sense of humor. You made this world a better place, fair winds and following seas. Love to all of you, Cris

  10. Joan StrNsky
    December 21, 2020 at 10:42 pm

    Jane, my heartfelt sympathy on your loss. You were the first friend who made me get out of the house and talk about my loss. I am eternally thankful for your kindness. The coming days will be a blur, but when all has quieted, call so we can enjoy a pizza and talk. Prayers for peace for you and your family.

  11. Kathy Johnson
    December 21, 2020 at 10:53 pm

    I had the honor of caring for him over the last year and he was such a nice gentleman. He loved to walk and sit outside. He lit up and shined when he showed me all of his accomplishments, models and pictures. His love for his wife Jane always shined when he lit up when he saw her!
    I send prayers and hugs to Jane and his family.

  12. Bob Polastre
    December 22, 2020 at 12:38 am

    Steve made an impact on everyone who met him and I count myself among the lucky. He will be missed

  13. Gigi, Gary, Jeff, Kerri
    December 22, 2020 at 12:56 am

    Rest In Peace my friend…it was a pleasure serving with you…from Guam to the West Coast to Virginia Beach to DC, you and Jane and the kids were always with us. Our deepest sympathies to all.

  14. Mary Jean (Horvath) Sulham
    December 22, 2020 at 12:57 am

    Though we never met I was Jane’s childhood friend. I thank you for your service.

  15. Geoff Whiting
    December 22, 2020 at 2:16 am

    Steve will be remembered for his professionalism and wry sense of humor. My shipmate, I wish you fair winds and following seas.

  16. Shifra Werch
    December 22, 2020 at 2:48 am

    Sending love and peace. May his memory be a blessing and eternal.

  17. Lis DEYO
    December 22, 2020 at 7:21 am

    Jane, i am so sorry for your loss. I have been thinking of you a lot lately. It is a hard time you have ahead, but be comforted that Steve will not be suffering any more. Be happy for all your good memories, and your family around you.
    With many thoughts and best wishes to you this Christmas, and may the new year be a good one for you. Lis

  18. Jeanne Rechner
    December 22, 2020 at 1:08 pm

    Steve was truly an officer and a gentleman. He and Jane and Joe and I spent many fun filled weekends laughing , eating , golfing and talking. He was Joe’s best golf partner ever! They won many tournaments together and collected the trophies with pride and joy. We so miss those days, but the memories are sweet and will last forever. I wish him many birdies on that big golf course in the sky!

  19. John and Willie Wright
    December 22, 2020 at 1:47 pm

    Our deepest sympathy to all of you. We have such fond memories of our time together in Monterey fifty years ago (!) and will always remember how good Steve was with our two-year-old Jay and how Jay would giggle whenever we said, “Colgan!” We send our deepest sympathy to you and your family and hope that, in time, your happy memories of Steve will replace the grief you feel now. RIP Steve.

  20. David Molnar
    December 22, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    To Cheryl, Patrick, Jennifer:

    I so respected your father and loved him like a brother. As an officer, he was always “squared away”, was respectful to juniors and seniors, knew his job, and did his job. When I came to USS Dale as a very junior guy, he helped me to adjust, to fit in. As a brother in law, I loved the way he treated my sister, your mom, the life he and she put together for themselves and for you and I am happy to be able to say I told him that while he was alive. As a man, the thing I respected most and envied was that if he decided to take on something, be it a chore at home or job related or a hobby, he stayed with it until mastered or completed. I remember and can picture his laugh. You know, he was a very good golfer and I so am not, but he even tolerated me on the golf course. I mourn with you guys a fine Naval Officer, a loving father and husband, a man among men.

  21. Kathy Palmer
    December 22, 2020 at 5:55 pm

    His sense of humor. So many memories.
    One that I thought of was the time I got a new car. A Chevy Malibu. I picked out a beauty. It was sort of a medium green with all the bells and whistles. I was so excited!
    The family was getting together at our parent’s home in Annapolis. I pulled into the driveway, ran into the house to tell everyone to come see my surprise! Steve came out and stood next to me with a look of what I assumed was admiration. After a few moments, he leaned over and said, ”How long did it take you to get the US Army insignia off the sides?” God bless him. He could always make me laugh.

  22. Roy Wiles
    December 22, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    Jane I was very sorry to hear of your loss. If i can ever do anything for you please don’t hesitate to call me on my house number. Your friend Roy.

  23. Naomi Molnar
    December 23, 2020 at 9:52 pm

    I remember my brother of the heart (brother-in-law) as a wonderful, kind, caring and loving man. He always made us feel wanted and welcome when we visited the family. He introduced my children to the joys of chocolate chip pancakes and my youngest chocoholic daughter loves them to this day. (I get requests to make them like Uncle Steve did when she visits.) I will always remember his patience when my children and granddaughters asked so many questions. He took the time to answer them and never seemed to be in a hurry or want them to stop. I am going to miss him. May he rest safely in the loving arms of our Savior. My prayers are with the family for the peace and strength the Lord will give you. God bless you all.

  24. Shawn Wallace
    December 23, 2020 at 11:24 pm

    An exceptional man and absolute role model. I will miss him tremendously. I have nothing but incredible memories growing up and having him as a mainstay of this family. Selfless and humble with a stellar sense of humor! Fair winds and following seas Uncle Steve.

  25. Jane Colgan
    December 24, 2020 at 2:18 am

    According to his mother, this was his favorite poem when Steve was a young boy….even then he was interested in the weather

    Who has seen the wind?
    Neither I nor you
    But when the leaves hang trembling
    The wind is passing through

    Who has seen the wind?
    Neither you nor I
    But when the trees bow down their heads
    The wind is passing by

    —Christina Rossetti

  26. Paul Damrow
    December 26, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    Steve and I met at the start of the sophomore year in homeroom the first year Lee HS (Springfield, VA) opened in 1958. Not only did we share the same birthdates, both our fathers were naval pilots in WWII, and we both played golf.
    Over the years we have kept in touch. I always admired how well Steve knew himself and how he conducted himself- a very disciplined person. He achieved his lifelong desire to be a meteorologist, married someone with whom he had a deep bond, and raised three children- quite a well-lived life!
    At times like this I am always cognizant of the words of Albert Schweitzer: “When one of us dies, something of all of us dies. Bonds are cut. Relationships are severed. Experiences we have shared in the path occur no more. And yet, even in death, we continue to share, through memory’s eye, the cherished life of those who crossed life’s horizon before us.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *