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John J. Colligan
October 11, 1951 ~ October 18, 2023 (age 72) 72 Years Old
11 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of John's family - View on Tribute Wall
John J. “Jack” Colligan Jr. 72, of East Brady died October 18, 2023 at Butler Memorial Hospital. He took his first breath at Butler Memorial on October 11, 1951 and was to take to his deathbed there, in the same hospital, on the day before his 72nd birthday. His last request was a simple one – he knew he was dying and only wanted to be made comfortable. He refused all treatment that might have saved his life.
Jack was a brilliant prodigy who always gave so much more than he received. He lived a Spartan lifestyle, with no television, no telephone and no computer - just a radio and his books. Jack was a voracious reader with the mind of an encyclopedia; he had a mind like a trap and remembered everything he read.
As a little boy, Jack had a particular penchant for history, especially wartime history. He loved to visit Gettysburg with his family on summer vacations. He would always return home with a few Civil War souvenirs that he greatly prized.
Jack loved baseball and, when young, had a baseball card collection of over one-thousand cards. He spent a brief period of time on Petrolia’s Little League, but because of Jack’s deformed legs, he wasn’t able to play much. Still…he tried. He tried so hard.
Jack worked in the library at the University of Vermont for a few years in the 1980s but suffered a nervous breakdown and had to return to Pennsylvania. He lived out his adult years in East Brady. He was a quirky and beloved figure in this town. He carried a particle detector and a carbon monoxide detector just about everywhere he went. His sink and bathtub were filled with water because of his fear of radon. His gas range was detached because of his fear of carbon monoxide. Jack knew that his habits were odd, but he was at a loss as to how to change them.
Jack was always looking for ways to help the townspeople of East Brady. He shoveled snow in his holey tennis shoes and never accepted payment. What little money he had was usually given away to those who had so much more than he did. But that was Jack – a man with a huge heart.
Jack never had a girlfriend or a driver’s license. He never had real furniture in his apartment – just a couple of lawn chairs and a mattress on the floor. Jack’s only valued possessions were his books, which numbered in the hundreds. He lived on a starvation diet and no amount of nagging or pleading could convince him to eat a healthy diet. His life was not an easy one – in fact, it was a life full of chronic pain.
After all is said and done, Jack did, however, live his life solely on his own terms. He was truly, and unequivocally, an extraordinary man.
There will be no services for John J. “Jack” Colligan Jr. Arrangements are under the direction of Buechele Funeral Home and Cremation Services, East Brady, PA.