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Offered January 24, 2017
Celebrating the life of the Honorable Charles J. Colgan.

Patrons-- McPike, Barker, Black, Carrico, Chafin, Chase, Cosgrove, Dance, Deeds, DeSteph, Dunnavant, Ebbin, Edwards, Favola, Hanger, Howell, Lewis, Locke, Lucas, Marsden, Mason, McClellan, McDougle, Newman, Norment, Obenshain, Peake, Petersen, Reeves, Ruff, Saslaw, Spruill, Stanley, Stuart, Sturtevant, Suetterlein, Surovell, Vogel, Wagner and Wexton; Delegates: Anderson, Bell, Richard P., Boysko, Bulova, Carr, Cole, Dudenhefer, Fariss, Fowler, Freitas, Garrett, Greason, Hayes, Helsel, Heretick, Herring, Hope, Ingram, Jones, Knight, Kory, Krizek, Landes, Leftwich, Lindsey, Lingamfelter, Loupassi, Marshall, R.G., Massie, McQuinn, Minchew, Morefield, Mullin, Murphy, O'Bannon, Orrock, Peace, Plum, Price, Rasoul, Sickles, Simon, Stolle, Torian, Toscano, Ware and Webert

WHEREAS, the Honorable Charles J. Colgan, a champion for higher education and a consummate public servant who represented the residents of the 29th District for four decades and retired as the longest-serving senator in Virginia history, died on January 3, 2017; and

WHEREAS, Charles “Chuck” Colgan learned the value of hard work and responsibility at a young age, growing up on his grandparents’ farm in Maryland; after completing high school, he enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps Reserve and was called into active service along with many of the other young men of his generation during World War II; and

WHEREAS, after two years in the Army Air Corps and three years in the Air Force Reserve, Chuck Colgan pursued his passion for aviation as a commercial pilot and a licensed airframe and power plant mechanic; and

WHEREAS, after relocating to Prince William County, Chuck Colgan formed Colgan Airways, Inc., which operated one of the largest flight schools in the country, and Colgan Air, Inc., a regional airline that served 53 cities in 16 states; and

WHEREAS, Chuck Colgan began his career in public service in 1972 as the Gainesville District representative on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, and he served as chair of the board for one year; and

WHEREAS, desirous to be of further service to the Commonwealth, Chuck Colgan ran for and was elected to the Senate of Virginia in 1975; he was reelected for nine additional consecutive terms, ably representing the residents of Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park until his well-earned retirement in 2016; and

WHEREAS, throughout his 40-year career as a Senator, Chuck Colgan introduced 560 bills and 120 joint resolutions; taking a special interest in higher education, he helped Virginia enhance its world-class public universities, thereby strengthening the future of the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, Chuck Colgan proudly served as President Pro Tempore of the Senate in 2014, and as chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, he helped to secure funding for the State Route 234 bypass, the Prince William Campus of George Mason University, and enhancements to the Woodbridge and Manassas campuses of Northern Virginia Community College; and

WHEREAS, Chuck Colgan earned many awards and accolades for his good work, including the Vision Award from Leadership Prince William and the Virginia Senator of the Year award from the Virginia Transit Association; he was inducted into the Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame, and a high school in Prince William County and a building on the George Mason University Science and Technology campus are named in his honor; and

WHEREAS, a man of great integrity, Chuck Colgan fostered bipartisan respect and cooperation for the benefit of all Virginians, and he served the Prince William County and Manassas communities and the Commonwealth with the utmost dedication and distinction; and

WHEREAS, Chuck Colgan enjoyed fellowship and worship with the Manassas community as a parishioner of All Saints Catholic Church, where he served as an usher for more than 50 years; and

WHEREAS, predeceased by his wife of 52 years, Agnes, Chuck Colgan will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by his children, Charles, Ruth, Michael, Raymond, Mary, Dot, Patrick, and Tim; his 24 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren, with two more on the way; and numerous other family members, friends, and colleagues on both sides of the aisle; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the Senate, the House of Delegates concurring, That the General Assembly hereby note with great sadness the loss of Charles J. Colgan, a true statesman who dedicated a lifetime of service to the Commonwealth; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the Senate prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to the family of Charles J. Colgan as an expression of the General Assembly’s respect for his memory.