Cover photo for Wells Colby's Obituary
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Wells Colby

January 18, 1927 — October 4, 2022

Wells Colby

Wells (“Pete”) Colby died Tuesday, October 4, 2022 at Brightview Baldwin Park in Staunton, Virginia.

He was born January 18, 1927 in New London, Connecticut to Orville Theodore (“OT”) Colby and Marion Colby. He graduated from Bucknell College (now Bucknell University) and joined the U.S. Army, where he attained the rank of First Lieutenant. While serving at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, he met Betty Colby, and on September 6, 1952 they were married.

After an Honorable Discharge from the Army, Pete went to work for Aetna Insurance Company in Hartford, Connecticut. He continued to work as an underwriter for Aetna and its successor CIGNA until his retirement in 1986. In the course of his employment he became a Certified Property and Casualty Underwriter. Pete and Betty moved several times in the early years, but settled in Richmond in 1962, where they raised their three children. In 2004, they moved to Waynesboro to be closer to daughter Melanie and her family.

Pete was a lifelong sailor, largely in and around the Chesapeake Bay, though he and Betty also chartered sailboats in New England and the Virgin Islands. He was also an antique car enthusiast and prized his 1930 Model A roadster. Throughout his life, Pete was an active volunteer with the Boy Scouts, Henrico County Government Center and most recently at the Plum House Museum in Waynesboro. He was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church and sang in the choir.

Pete was predeceased by Betty, his wife of 69 years, his daughter Susan Musbach Colby, and his sister Janet Bills. He is survived by his daughter, Melanie Colby-Bradley and her sons, Tristan and Brendan of Waynesboro; and son Peter Colby and his wife Susan of San Francisco, and their daughters, Rachel (and her husband Daniel Lau) of Oakland, California and Rebecca of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

A private celebration of Pete’s life will be held in Waynesboro or Richmond. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Western Rivers Conservancy or to a charity of your choice.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Wells Colby, please visit our flower store.

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