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Francis E. Colby passed away Wednesday, November 21, 2018. Born on March 4, 1929, in Fargo, ND, he was the youngest of five children born to William and Jennie (Worman) Colby. He attended Fargo and West Fargo schools, graduating from West Fargo in 1946.
He married his high school sweetheart - Margaret Ann Flick - a year later. Their marriage reached 71 years and produced two children - Steven of West Fargo and Connie (Mark Supman) of Scottsdale, AZ, 6 grandchildren and 25 great-grand-children. Fran earned both BA and BS degrees from Moorhead State College in music and business education. He earned a master’s degree in music from the University of Washington. He continued to take graduate courses throughout his career, completing all courses needed for a doctorate. He enjoyed a very successful teaching/performing career. After several years of teaching in public schools, most of his teaching life was at the college level at Mayville State and Moorhead State. He was the first inductee in the Mayville State Performing Arts Hall of Fame. His concert and jazz bands enjoyed national attention and awards. As a result, a music scholarship/endowment has been established in his name at Mayville State.
Fran was also an outstanding performer and music arranger in the jazz world. An excellent trumpet and flugelhorn player, he played across the country with his own groups and other bands. Much of the music played were his own arrangements numbering in the thousands. One highlight was the 1961 Rose Bowl. The University of Washington marching band music performed that day was all arranged by Fran.
His wife Margaret worked for the Kaldor, Vinje, and Engleman law firm of Mayville for many years until the two of them retired to Fargo in the 1990's. Margaret currently lives at Kinder-Care in West Fargo.
Funeral: A private service will be held for family and friends on Monday in West Funeral Home, West Fargo.
Final Resting Place: Sunset Memorial Gardens, Fargo
West Funeral Home & Life Tribute Center, West Fargo & Casselton