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Sun., Oct. 4
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William A. Colwell


William A. Colwell, 86, a retired Foreign Service officer, died on September 24, 2013 of heart failure. He had myasthenia gravis. A year earlier, on September 24, 2012, he moved from Vienna, VA to his house of birth in Mannsville, NY, where he passed away.

During his 30 year diplomatic career—which began in 1961 and ended in 1991 with his retirement—he was stationed in Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Cuba, Mexico, New Zealand, Guyana, Colombia, Spain, Venezuela, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Kenya, where he was the Regional Consul General. From 1992 to 2012, he returned to the Department of State, retiring for the second time in September, 2012.

He served in the Navy during World War II and graduated from Potsdam’s Crane School of Music in 1951. Music was an essential part of his life and he played jazz standards on his piano every day after work. Golf, tennis, bridge, reading, and foreign affairs discussions also brought joy to his life.

Bill was born on October 12th, 1926 in Mannsville to the late Hamilton and Grace (Widrig) Colwell. He is survived by his wife Luz Marina Colwell, his daughters Grace Colwell and Andrea Crane, his son-in-law Dave Crane, his son Andrew Colwell his sister Mildred Leet, and his brother Raymond Colwell. He was predeceased by his brother John Colwell and his first wife Kathleen Woodward Colwell.

A Memorial Service will be held 3:00pm Saturday at the Ellisburg United Methodist Church, Pastor Mark Strader officiating. Burial will follow at Ellisburg Cemetery. There are no calling hours.

Donations may be made in lieu of flowers in his honor to: SUNY Potsdam at

Arrangements are with the Carpenter Stoodley Funeral Home, Belleville, NY Online condolences may be made at

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