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Date of Service: April 26, 2018


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Helen Olson
June 9, 1935 ~
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Joseph Colombo

July 20, 1945 ~ March 29, 2018

Service: April 06, 2018 4:00 P.M.
   Location: Bozeman United Methodist Church

Joseph John Colombo, Jr.

In the early morning of Thursday, March 29, 2018, we lost a beautiful man – Joe (Buddy) Colombo passed peacefully away at home with his loving family at his side.

Joe was born in Brooklyn, New York, and spent his formative years in the suburbs on Long Island.  He eventually ventured west, and graduated from Pershing College in Beatrice, Nebraska.  It seems that fate was guiding him in his travels for it was here that he met and married the love of his life, Janet. 

Joe and Janet, their daughter Lisa, son Jay, and soon-to-arrive daughter Cassie, drove into Bozeman in August 1977 to begin a new life, and soon became mainstays in the Bozeman community.  In 1985, after a string of other business ventures, Joe and Janet purchased Karl Marx Pizza on College Street across from the university. They changed the name to Colombo’s Pizza and Pasta, and over a span of 33 years it went on to become a well-known community establishment.

Besides his family, Joe’s passions in life were fly fishing, racquetball and the New York Yankees – especially Yogi Berra.   When discussing fishing, it seemed as if Joe could remember every fish he ever pulled out of Montana’s bountiful rivers, the year they were caught, the precise hole where the triumph occurred and their size.  He traveled around the world pursuing the elusive big one.  While playing racquetball at the Ridge, he took more enjoyment from out trash-talking his opponents than actually beating them on the court.  

Joe was always ready to contribute to the community, especially working with kids. As a member of the Lions Club, he worked in their basketball and football programs and also coached community soccer and little league.  Joe and Janet were foster parents to more than 20 infants and young children taking them into their home and treating them as their own.  His compassion extended to countless employees who saw him as a father figure, confidant, and mentor over four decades in business.

Joe had an innate ability to draw people out, getting them to relax and laugh and making the world a friendlier place. His charismatic manner, ready humor and Neuw Yawk accent made many friends who have grown into his extended Montana family.

Joe is preceded in death by his father, Joseph; mother, Carmella; and brother, Sonny.  He is survived by his wife, Janet (nee Baumfalk); daughter, Lisa (Nabeel) David; son, Jay (Natalie) Colombo; and daughter, Cassie (Seth Cooper) Colombo; grandson, Wylie Joe Colombo and another grandchild due to arrive at the end of April; brother, Vinnie (Anita Santasier) Colombo; sister, Carole (Al) Marquart; beloved brothers and sisters-in-law; and a rollicking band of devoted nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews and cousins.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, April 6th at 4 pm in the Bozeman United Methodist Church on the corner of Willson and Olive.  A reception will follow immediately after at the Valley View Golf Club, 302 E. Kagy Blvd.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in Joe’s name be made either to the Bozeman Health Cancer Center, 931 Highland Blvd #3130, Bozeman, MT 59715 or the Public Lands Water Access (plwa.org) group for stream access. Both causes were very dear to Joe’s heart.

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