William George Colclough, Jr., VL ’53

William George Colclough, Jr., 90 of Winona and La Crosse, died on July 20, 2022 at Riverside Transitional Care. Bill was born in Newark, NJ on August 12, 1931, the only child of William and Louise (Becht) Colclough, Sr. Bill graduated from Benards High School in 1949 and earned a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Lehigh University in 1953, where he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Society.

Bill met his wife Barb in an organic chemistry class, during the summer of 1952 at Newark College of Engineering. They were married on December 27, 1953. Over the course of their 68-year marriage they lived in New Brunswick (NJ), Somerville (NJ), Winona (MN), and La Crosse (WI).

Bill and Barb were blessed with three children: William III (Mary Strasser-Colclough), John (Kate Johnson), and Ruth Church; three grandchildren: William John Colclough (Samantha Peloquin), Stephanie Church, and Hannah Church-Lee (Shane Lee); three great-grandchildren: William Steven Colclough, Graham Henry Colclough, and Zoe Jade Martinco.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents; daughter-in-law, Joan Curran; and son-in-law, Robert Church.

Bill started his career in 1953 as a Research Chemist at Union Carbide in Bound Brook, NJ. After 10 years, he was recruited by Fiberite Corporation in Winona, MN to fill the position of Assistant Director of Research & Development, moving his young family to Winona, MN in 1963. He had a long and distinguished career as a research chemist in the composite materials industry, earning several patents. He was a member of the Society of Plastic Engineers and the American Chemical Society. His work took him to several international partners, finally retiring after 40 years of work-life.

A healthy and active life style was a life-long pursuit. His achievements included: lettering four years in cross country, basketball, and track at Benards High School, lettering four years in track and cross country at Lehigh University, winning the MN State Senior Racquetball Championship in 1979, and 70 years of active membership in a YMCA. In retirement, he played tennis and golf. Also, biking many miles around Jekyll Island, GA as a snowbird and thousands of miles on MN and WI bike trails.

Education was also extremely important to Bill. He and Barb participated in many Roads Scholar trips. He was an active participant in the Winona State University Learning Club, including finding speakers and writing grants to support its programs.

This obituary was taken in part from the La Crosse Tribune published July 22, 2022.