OCEAN RIDGE — Velden Paul Colby died April 21, following an auto accident in Citra, where he lived. He was 86.
The man known to everyone as “Colby” was born Dec. 17, 1934, in Fairview, Oklahoma, to Paul and Ruth Sheffield Colby. He was preceded in death by his parents, siblings Vona, Verlyn, Vinton and Veleta, who was his twin sister, as well as his youngest son, Chris Colby of Louisville, Kentucky.
Mr. Colby graduated in 1953 from Cheyenne Valley Consolidated High School, then joined the U.S. Army, serving in the 526th Armored Infantry, Fort Knox, Kentucky, 1953-1955. While he was at Fort Knox, a friend introduced him to Jeanette Drury. They married and together had five children, settling in Louisville.
Realizing early on he wanted to be his own boss, he enrolled in Kentucky College of Barbering, graduating in 1958. Soon after he opened Colby’s Barber Shop. That suited him perfectly because he loved people, he loved making friends, listening to their stories and telling his.
Time passed, lives changed and Mr. Colby eventually moved to Boynton Beach, opening another barber shop in Ocean Ridge. He became an avid dancer, dancing his way into the heart of Elaine Lee and she into his. They could clear any dance floor, even when he was into his 80s.
He ultimately realized his dream of owning some land, orange trees, horses and dogs at his aptly named “Happy Feet” homestead in Citra. He was able to enjoy his “little piece of heaven” for a large part of his retirement years. Mr. Colby is survived by his best friend and dance partner of 30 years, Elaine Lee; his children Dennis Colby of Boynton Beach, Cheryl (John) Wellerding of Louisville, Deana (Billy) Craycroft of Louisville, Glen Colby of Reading, Massachusetts; a daughter-in-law Kathleen Colby; grandchildren Brent, Ryan, Evelyn Grace, Ethan, Elias, Cooper, Gavin and Julia; and many other nieces, nephews, family and friends. His wishes were to have his body donated for research. A celebration of his life will be held 2-4 p.m. June 12 at the VFW, 4805 NE 36th Ave., Ocala. Expressions of sympathy may be made in his honor to any U.S. veterans organization or an animal rescue center.
— Obituary submitted by the family