Obituary of Richard Dennis Colby
Richard “Rick” Dennis Colby, 71, of Waukesha,WI passed away on Saturday, February 18th at home with his family. He was born November 23, 1951 in Spring Valley, Illinois. He grew up in Hennepin, IL with his parents Denise “Bessie” and Lewis “Bunny” Colby and his three brothers Jerry, Dan and Bob on their family farm.
Rick graduated from Hennepin High School. He attended two years at the local Community College before graduating from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications & Teaching. Rick had a passion for the arts and participated in numerous theatre productions at both the junior college and Northern Illinois. Rick was a passionate sports fan and you could often find him cheering on the Cubs, Bears and NIU Huskies. He spent years coaching his kids basketball teams and coached his son for many years in baseball. He loved to watch his daughter play softball and traveled all over the country to do so. He absolutely adored the game of golf and played in a Monday night league with his friends all the way through 2022. He made many memories on the course with his son and daughter, instilling a passion for the game that lives on thru them.
Rick worked for years on the family farm. He would always go home on the weekends from college and help with various jobs from cultivating to bailing hay, to helping with the crop harvest in the fall. Rick found his niche in the electrical supply industry and was a top sales person for Ideal Industries in Sycamore, IL and continued on a successful path when he moved the family to Wisconsin. He went on to work for Wilke Electric, Meyers Electric and All County Electrical Supply. Once his dad retired from the family farm, Rick went into business with his brothers Dan and Bob. They owned and operated the Indian Valley Inn in Tiskilwa, IL from 1985 to 1996. They later sold the bar and used that money to build the Indian Hills Golf Club, a nine hole course that was built from the ground up with help from their friends and local community members. All three of the them had a great love for the game of golf and enjoyed every opportunity they had to play together.
Chicago girl meets country boy. Rick met Nancy Arendt in the fall of their junior year of college at Northern Illinois University. In spring of 1975, while Nancy was doing her student teaching in Wimbledon, England, Rick asked her to marry him. Rick and Nancy were married in Chicago, Illinois on August 28, 1976. They began their life together in Freeport, Illinois where they were blessed with their son Jonathan in June of 1983. They then moved to Sycamore, Illinois in 1985 where they welcomed their beautiful daughter Katherine “Katie” in September of 1986. The family moved to Waukesha, Wisconsin in 1987 where they resided until Rick’s passing in 2023. Rick and Nancy were married 46 ½ incredible years that were filled with humor, laughter and love.
Rick is survived by his wife, Nancy (Arendt) Colby, his son Jonathan and Katherine (Colby) Golsteyn, his son-in-law Christopher Golsteyn and grandson Mason Golsteyn. He is also survived by sister-in laws Betty (John) Colby-Brokaw of Princeton, IL, Sandi Colby of Friendswood, Texas, Susan Poff Frank Colby of Princeton, IL, and Jolene (Colby) McCauley of Princton, IL. Additionally, he is survived by numerous loving nieces, nephews and cousins.
Rick was preceded in death by his father Lewis Colby in 1993 (73); his mother Denise in 2001 (79); brother Jerry in 1990 (48); sister-in-law, Bonnie Colby in 1991 (42); brother Dan 2010 (65); brother Bob 2015 (67). Rick always said that his goal was to live longer than his brothers, which he accomplished and celebrated when he turned 69 in 2020. In August of 2022, the Colby family also lost Stephanie Colby Aburto (52) the youngest daughter of Rick’s oldest brother Jerry and Betty Colby.
Rick’s service is to be held Saturday, March 18th at the Cesarz, Charapata & Zinnecker Funeral Home located at 237 N. Moreland Blvd. Waukesha, WI. Visitation is from 12:00-2:00 and the service will be from 2:00-3:00.
Teaching Pastor at Elmbrook Church
Brookfield, WITo send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Richard Colby, please visit Tribute Store