Father Ronald Terence Colloty, the Franciscan priest instrumental in starting the world’s first food bank and Huntington Beach’s Sts. Simon & Jude Church died Tuesday morning. He was 83.
Colloty died after a brief stay at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital and Medical Center. He was described by friends and fellow priests as strong, humble and honest.
Colloty helped set up St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix during the late 1960s. Today, the 112,000-square-foot food bank remains the standard by which all food banks are based.
Later, Colloty came to Orange County, where Father Christian Mondor, 71, remembers that Colloty enjoyed wearing a hard hat while supervising the building of Sts. Simon & Jude Church in 1969.
Colloty also served as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force, earned a master’s degree in education and worked as a teacher and principal.
A vigil will be held Monday at 7:30 p.m. at Sts. Simon & Jude, followed by a funeral Mass the following day at 10 a.m.
Colloty will be buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Colma, just outside of San Francisco where he was born. His father worked as a caretaker at the cemetery, one of several in the small town, and his three brothers are buried there.
Known for his sense of humor, Colloty had a special bumper sticker on the back of his car.
“It read: It’s great to be alive in Colma,” Mondor said.