Date of BirthApril 15, 1937

Robert C. Colligan Obituary

Date of BirthApril 15, 1937

262 Views

Date of DeathNovember 01, 2016

Robert C. Colligan Obituary

from Rochester, Minnesota, United States

Dr. Robert C. Colligan, 79, died Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, surrounded by his loving family after living with the diagnosis of glioblastoma multiforme for two years. Bob endured the losses and challenges of brain cancer with grace, calmness, confidence, curiosity and cheerfulness. He died at home at The Homestead, where he was cared for by family and Mayo Hospice. Bob was born on April 15, 1937, at home on his family farm near Bagley, Minn., to parents Charles and Luella (Rotzien) Colligan. He attended a rural school near Ebro, Minn., and graduated from Bagley High School in 1954. Bob had a number of creative jobs in early life, including church organist, movie projectionist, grain elevator construction crew, ore boat deckhand and rural schoolteacher. He graduated from Bemidji State College cum laude and then taught junior high science and math on Elmensdorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska. Returning to Minnesota, Bob married Eva Jane Fletcher on Aug. 4, 1962, and they lived in Minneapolis as he began his PhD work at the University of Minnesota, teaching fifth and sixth grades in Robbinsdale and serving as school psychologist for the Minneapolis public school system. In 1969, Bob accepted a one-year position with the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology at Mayo Clinic. This trial position as a school psychologist consultant was viewed as successful and made permanent in 1970. In his 30-year career at Mayo, Bob considered himself fortunate to have served as head of the section of psychology for eight years, professor of psychology at Mayo Medical School and been involved with many roles of research, authorship and consultation. Bob published numerous articles in the areas of learning and learning disabilities, was gratified to publish research on autism and ADHD and, with his esteemed colleagues, made significant contributions as principle investigator for three reference works on the Minnesota Multi-Phasic Inventory (MMPI). Over the years, Bob listened and helped ease the troubles of thousands of children and their parents. Bob retired as a consultant in 1999, but remained active in Mayo research until two months before his death, a testament to his commitment to service and insatiable curiosity. He was deeply grateful for the opportunities of his vocation and colleagues. Bob is survived by his wife, Eva, of Rochester; son, Richard Bruxvoort Colligan, daughter-in-law, Trish, and grandson, Sam, of Strawberry Point, Iowa; daughter, Amy, son-in-law, Bruce Tank, and granddaughter, Emma, of Mahtomedi, Minn.; brother, Ross, and sister-in-law, Jeanette, of Maple Grove, Minn.; as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins. The funeral service will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 14, at Mount Olive Lutheran Church. Visitation will be from 1 p.m  to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, at Macken Funeral Home, River Park Chapel, and one hour prior to the service Monday. Robert will be donating his body to Mayo Clinic's Anatomical Bequest Program. Burial will be at Bagley Cemetery in Bagley at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Quarry Hill Nature Center, The Reading Center Dyslexia Institute, Channel One Food Bank, Paws and Claws and The Arc of Southeastern Minnesota. Online condolences are welcome at mackenfuneralhome.com.