SWANVILLE — Norman B. Colby, 81, passed safely into Jesus’ strong arms at WCGH Dec. 4, 2021, with pneumonia.

He was born Jan. 29, 1940, the son of Russell F. Colby and Violette (Harvey) Colby in Belmont. Later, the family moved to Swanville and he grew up there, in the country, graduating from eighth grade in a one-room schoolhouse. He was a hard worker, working in the woods, operating machinery, driving trucks, etc., and loved hunting.

Norman married Adeline (Pomeroy) in 1959 and they had five children. They lived in Swanville and he had several different jobs: working in the woods, Penobscot Poultry and hauling blueberries.

He went to work for the B&M Railroad in Belfast in 1963 and worked his way up to engineer. He loved his work. He had many trials in his life, beginning with a serious eye operation when he was 8. He had some motorcycle accidents and twice he was shot while hunting. But he never gave up hunting and always wanted to ride motorcycles until he had to settle for an RTV. When he got injured on the job, he had a back operation. Then he broke his neck in a motorcycle accident in 1979 and was permanently disabled.

After Adeline and Norman divorced, he remarried in 1981 to Beulah (Wadsworth Gray) Colby. They have one daughter. They built a home in Liberty, where he was animal control officer and constable for a good many years. On Easter 1982, he and his wife started attending church, living for the Lord. He was a “new creature” in Christ, as the Bible states. They built a home in Swanville  and moved there in 1998.

We know that as he remained faithful to the Lord, he is now safely in Jesus’ care and when the last trumpet sounds, and Jesus returns, on that final resurrection day, we will be gloriously reunited with him.

One of his favorite pastimes was antique car shows; he realized his lifelong dream three  years ago when he had a 1929 Model A pickup that he rode in a couple of summers.

He was predeceased by his parents; his oldest son, Norman II; his brother, Donald Colby, and sister-in-law Connie Colby; his nephew, Dana Colby; a son-in-law, Scott Cilley; and two great-grandsons, Ethan Zuck and Cooper Hutchinson.

He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Beulah; his daughter Brenda Cilley of Jackson; his son Jeffrey Colby of Auburn; his daughter Tina and her husband, Wayne Grotton, of Jackson; his son Brandon Colby and his wife, Nannette, of Belfast; his daughter Shannan and her husband, Abraham Salami, of Appleton; his stepdaughters, Sherilyn Jackson and her husband,  Fred, of Lincolnville, Jeanna Bonin and her husband, Bruce, of Swanville, Valerie Stone and her husband, Shawn, of Frankfort; and his stepson, Matthew Gray, and his wife, Melanie Jane, of Swanville; 28 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren.

He loved all his children and stepchildren, and his whole extended family. He will be sorely missed.

He handled this last crisis in his life as he did all the rest in his life: with strength, courage and hope. And God’s help.

Visitation is at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 11 and the funeral is at 2 p.m. at Riposta Funeral Home, 187 Waldo Ave., Belfast, with Bro. Ken Davenport officiating. At 4 p.m. there will be a celebration of life with refreshments at the Overcomers’ Christian Fellowship, 11 Frankfort Road, North Searsport.

When circumstances allow, he will be buried in Smart Cemetery on Curtis Road in East Belfast.

Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at ripostafh.com.

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