Wayne John Colahan, Jr.

Date of Birth

September 25, 1930

Date of Death

February 16, 2021

City of Death

Santa Barbara, CA

Wayne John Colahan, Jr., in the presence of his wife, Mildred Thompson Colahan, supported by his loving family and friends, passed away on February 16, 2021. All those who encountered Wayne will attest that he was one of the true stand-up individuals; he had an amazing 90 year run! Wayne lived a life that made all who knew him proud to call him husband, father, grandfather and friend.

Wayne leaves behind his beloved wife of 69 years, his sister, children, grandchildren, and related loved ones. Born in Woodstock, Illinois, he attended local schools, where at the age of 13, he met his future wife, Milly. Wayne received his undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester, his graduate degree in Engineering from Purdue University, and his Masters in Business from the Harvard Business School. Wayne had numerous successes throughout his professional career; as rocket fuel engineer for the early Explorer missions with Jet Propulsion Laboratory and aerospace and aviation development with United Technology Corporation. Entrepreneurial, sales and management roles occurred with companies such as Circon ACMI and Synvasive Technology Inc. In retirement, Wayne operated and was partner in Alisos Vineyards Corporation, growing and supplying wine grapes to many of Santa Barbara’s finest wineries. Wayne was passionate about yacht racing, a skill he passed on to his children. He served as a two-term Commodore for the Santa Cruz Yacht Club. A long-time member of the Santa Barbara Yacht Club, he raced in regattas locally and nationally on his yachts, The Magic Touch and Rio. Wayne was a generous patron of the arts; he and Milly were among the founders of State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara, CA. Humble about his achievements, highlighting the value of education and community, he enjoyed a fully satisfying and interesting life.

A celebration in honor of Wayne will be held in the near future. Donations can be made in Wayne’s honor to State Street Ballet, and Hospice of Santa Barbara.


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