John Colligas, former director of pharmaceutical manufacturing and a research development pharmacist for Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation for over 30 years, died peacefully on Wednesday, June 21 at his home in Holmdel. He was 103 years old, one day short of his 104th birthday.
John was born in 1913. He spent his childhood years growing up in Rosedale, New York. In 1942, John moved to New Jersey. He lived in Somer ville, Linden, Scotch Plains, Middletown and Holmdel.
John graduated from Brooklyn College of Pharmacy and received his New York pharmaceutical license. He continued his education and received a pharmaceutical chemist degree from St. John’s University. John remained very active at St. John’s. He was a member of the Laughlin Society. In 1997, he was presented with the President’s Award by Father Donald J. Harrington, CM president of St. John’s University.
John’s desire to learn was ongoing. He attended Columbia University’s College of Pharmacy, Brooklyn Polytechnical Institute, Princeton University, Rutgers University and the Wharton School of Business.
During his lifetime in New Jersey, John was very active in many civic organizations. He served as a councilman in Somer ville, a member of the Raritan Valley Sewage Authority, a board member of the United Fund of Somerset County, a member of the Lay Advisory Committee to the Somer ville Board of Education, manager of the Somerville Little League and a member of the U.S President’s Committee to Aid the Handicapped. He was a longtime member of the Garden State chapter of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, for which he served as an executive board member and treasurer.
John also devoted 55 years of service to the Greater Somerset County Chapter of the American Red Cross. He served as the chapter chairman; he taught first aid for over 35 years; and he trained first aid instructors. John received two prestigious awards for his community service, the League of Red Cross Societies Humanitarian Award and the Clara Barton Award for Meritorious Volunteer Leadership.
John was a communicant of Kimisis Tis Theotokou Greek Orthodox Church in Holmdel and formerly a communicant and president of the board of trustees of St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Highland Park. He was a member of the American Hellenic Education Progressive Association (AHEPA), a benevolent organization.
An avid golfer for over 50 years, John enjoyed giving lessons to beginner golfers. He served as a member, secretary and president of the Tricounty Industrial Golf League. He was a longtime member of the USGA for over 25 years.
John also served as a commissioner representing Holmdel Township for the Bayshore Regional Sewage Authority (BRSA). He served there for five years, from 2007 to 2012, retiring at the age of 98.
John leaves his wife, Doris (Mylon) of 55 years. John was predeceased by his sons, James and Michael; and his granddaughter, Stephanie. He is survived by three children, John Colligas of Bridgewater and his wife Beverly, Evandra Colligas of Macungie, Pennsylvania, and Melissa Otterbine of Middletown and her husband, Stephen. Also surviving are 10 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.
Memorial donations may be made to Kimisis Tis Theotokou Greek Orthodox Church in Holmdel, New Jersey or to St. John’s University John Colligas Scholarship Fund.
Evergreen Memorial Funeral Home, Middletown, was in charge of arrangements.
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