Dr. Charles Benjamin Colaw, Jr.
© Examiner-Enterprise, Bartlesville, OK
July 20 to August 19, 2012
Submitted by: Jo Aguirre
Charles Benjamin Colaw, of Bartlesville, died, surrounded by family, at the age of 93, at 7:35 p.m., Wednesday, July 18, 2012, at the Sterling House South in Bartlesville, OK.
Services for Dr. Colaw will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 21, 2012 at First Wesleyan Church in Bartlesville. Graveside will follow at the Memorial Park Cemetery directed by the Stumpff Funeral Home & Crematory. Services are open to the public.
Visitation will be held at the Stumpff Funeral Home Friday, July 20, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. where the family will receive guests.
Grandpa Bearers and escorts will be his grandchildren and will include David Colaw, Darrel Colaw, Stephen L. Colaw, S. Brent Colaw, Michael K. Colaw, and Bradlee Hadsell. All remaining grandchildren will serve as honorary Grandpa Bearers and include Kathy Lindquist, Cindy Nicolai, Shari Sauer, Sheila Bee, Julie Colaw, Michael C. Colaw, Patrick Colaw, John Colaw, Jana Hughes, M. Charles Colaw, Andrea Nichols, also nephews Jeff and Kevin Hay.
Memorial funds have been established and those who wish may send their contributions to First Wesleyan Church, 1776 Silver Lake Road, Bartlesville, OK and/or Oklahoma Wesleyan University, 2201 Silver Lake Road, Bartlesville, OK 74006.
Charles Benjamin Jr., the son of Charles Benjamin Sr. and Emma Sarilda (Powell) Colaw, was born in rural Wilson County, Kansas on May 3, 1919. He grew up on the family farm near Fredonia, KS, and for eight years walked several miles each day to the one room school house where he met the love of his life, Mabel Estella Kauth.
On August 22, 1937 C.B. and Mabel were married in the home of Mabel's parents. He and Mabel farmed, ranched and operated a retail oil distributing company until they answered the call to full-time ministry in 1947. The Colaws served as pastors at Woodlawn, Sharon Springs and Oakley, all in Kansas. In 1956, Rev. Colaw was elected as District Superintendent of what would become the Tri-State District of the Wesleyan Church and re-located to Blackwell, OK, where they also served as pastors of the local church. He remained as District Superintendent for 34 years.
Rev. Colaw served as a member of the Board of Trustees of what is now Oklahoma Wesleyan University and its antecedent schools since 1956. He was instrumental in locating OWU to the present campus in Bartlesville in 1959, when a flat tire led him to the property, which was for sale.
Colaw and his family moved from Blackwell to Bartlesville in 1959 and started First Wesleyan Church and were charter members.
He served as chairman of the Board of Trustees at OWU from 1981 to 2001. After his retirement as chairman, he continued to serve as Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees. For 51 years, he never missed a board meeting or a graduation. Dr. Colaw also served the Wesleyan Church on their General Board of Administration, General Executive Council, General Commission on Administration, General Commission on Christian Education, Chairman of the Wesleyan Pension Fund, General Committee on Special Nominations, secretary of the General Commission on Educational Institutions and chairman of the General Officers Salary Committee. Dr. Colaw was a 38 year member of the Bartlesville Rotary Club where he was also Past President and a Paul Harris Fellow. He was also one of the founding board members of the Green Country Village.
In 2001, a women's dormitory on the campus of OWU was named in C.B. and Mabel's honor.
C.B. is survived by his children, Charles Colaw and his wife June of Yukon, OK; N. Rene Colaw and wife Sara of Bartlesville; Max Colaw and wife Ruth Ann of Bartlesville; Stephen Colaw and wife Joyce of Bartlesville; Judy Hadsell and husband Marion of Hopeton, OK; Joe W. Colaw and wife Dawn of Bartlesville; and Bernetta Hay and husband Ron of Bartlesville; 17 grandchildren, 51 great-grandchildren, 2 great-great-grandchildren. One brother Dr. Bishop Emerson S. Colaw and wife Jane; one sister Rev. Marjorie Jantz Owens and husband Rev. Verdene Owens. He was preceded in death by his wife Mabel Estella Colaw on August 27, 2010, parents Charles and Emma Colaw, and two daughters-in-law, Vanita Kay Barrows Colaw and Betty Ann Friend Colaw.
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