CHAMPAIGN -- Harold Reichard Colbert, 96, of Champaign passed away at home early Saturday morning (March 10, 2012). Harold was born in Urbana to James R. and Ura Colbert on July 28, 1915. He married Gladys (Hap) A. Hall of Philadelphia on February 13, 1944 at University Place Christian Church, Champaign. Hap and Harold recently celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary.
Harold graduated from Urbana High School in 1934 and the Illinois Commercial College in 1935. Following graduation, he worked as a plumbing apprentice with his uncle, Bud Reichard, of Reichard Plumbing and Heating. In 1941 Harold was drafted into the U.S. Army and was assigned to the 19th Combat Engineers Regiment where he worked in the water purification unit. During WWII Harold was involved in the Algeria-French, Moraccan, Tunisian, and Sicilian battles and campaigns. Prior to his 1945 honorable discharge, Harold received 3 Bronze Service Stars and the Good Conduct Medal. In 1946, Harold started his own business, Harold R. Colbert Plumbing and Heating Co., which he owned and operated for 40 years. The company is currently owned by Harold's son, Rick Colbert.
Over his lifetime, Harold loved old cars and enjoyed working on them; trains (toy and real); Big Band Era music; reading; antiques; traveling (especially Hawaii); building houses; family genealogy; and spending time with family and friends.
Harold is survived by his wife Hap; son Marc (JoAnne) Colbert of Lincolnshire, IL; daughter Beki Colbert of Soquel, CA; son Rick (Cathy) Colbert of Mansfield, IL; and daughter Leslie Colbert Baker (Mark) of Farmington Hills, MI. Also surviving are seven grandchildren: Codi (Jamie), Roth (Tina), H.R., Jake, and Mia Colbert and Austin (Jennifer) and Trevor Baker; and three great-grandchildren.
Harold is also survived by his sister, Lois Colbert Salisch of Tempe, AZ; sister Jacqueline Colbert (Luther) Terry of Urbana; and brother Donald Lee (Barbro) Colbert of Michigan City, IN. He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Helen Marie, and brother James Colbert, Jr.
Harold was deeply loved and will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
A private memorial service will be held at University Place Christian Church followed by a military burial at Woodlawn Cemetary, Urbana.