Frank Donald “Don” Colborn was born November 14, 1927 in Kiowa, Kansas. He was one of eight sons of Frank F. and Grace (Van Huss) Colborn. He died at Salina Regional Hospital, November 8, 2021, six days before his 94th birthday.
Don attended grade schools in Barber County and graduated from Medicine Lodge (Kansas) High School in 1946. He joined the United States Navy and spent two years in service including a one year posting in Pearl Harbor. After returning home to Thayer, Kansas, Don worked in a variety of positions until 1952, when he enrolled at Chanute Junior College. He later attended Emporia State University (ESU), earning the B.S. and M.S. in English Education.
On March 12, 1954, Don married Peggy Martin in Emporia, Kansas. To this union, seven children were born.
Don taught at Newton Junior and Senior High Schools for 30 years, during which time he served as junior high school drama coach, speech and English instructor, and sponsor of many extra-curricular youth groups. He was a member of the National Education Association (NEA), Kansas branch of the NEA (KNEA), and served as president and treasurer of Newton branch of the KNEA.
Don was a member of the U.S. National Guard for three years. He spent his summers fulfilling his Guard duties, and as a mechanic with Dey Farm Supply, as well as continuing graduate education at ESU. He also found time to work closely with his children in all their activities; taking them fishing and camping, teaching them to play tennis, and serving as a Scoutmaster and Little League baseball coach.
While in Newton, Don was baptized into the Catholic Church and took an active role in Knights of Columbus and as a church lector. He also volunteered in the Catholic Youth Organization drama activities.
In 1984, the Colborns moved to Colby, Kansas. Don resumed his teaching career at Oakley High School, where he taught English and sponsored yearbook for seven years.
After his retirement in 1992, the Colborns spent two years traveling throughout the United States and spending time with their extended families, after which they resettled in Solomon, Kansas, where Don was able to indulge in full-time gardening, his lifelong hobby, as well as playing cards with friends.
Don was preceded in death by his eldest son, Alan, his parents, one sister, Darlene, and six brothers: Robert, Harold, Lester, Russell, Kenneth and Jerry; and his Godparents, Lee and May Hensler. He is survived by his spouse Peg of the home; four sons – Martin (Roxann), Newton; Michael (Kathleen), Newton; Richard, Salina; David (Cristi), Cleveland, West Virginia; two daughters: Cathy (William) Summers of Albany, Oregon; Amy (Richard) Vigil, Lynchburg, Virginia; 12 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; one brother Jack (Charlott) of Chanute, Kansas; many cousins, nieces and nephews, a host of friends as well as thousands of former students, fellow teachers and professional associates.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Immaculate Conception Church in Solomon on Saturday, November 13, 2021 at 10:00 AM; Father John Wolesky, officiating. Burial will follow in Mount Calvary Cemetery, Solomon.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Alan J. Colborn Memorial at Caring Hands Humane Society in Newton, KS; Immaculate Conception Church in Solomon; or St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Salina; sent directly or in care of Ryan Mortuary, Salina.