Carl Colmorgen, a Red Bank school crossing guard who for many years delighted kids and motorists with colorful holiday headwear, died Tuesday. He was 81 years old.
Carl Colmorgen adorned in holiday regalia over the years. That’s him in the ape costume below, with his brother, Rob, on Broad Street in 2015. (redbankgreen photos. Click to enlarge.)
For years, the Oakland Street resident would mark Halloween, Christmas and other special events dressed in silly hats while stopping traffic for school children at various intersections, most recently Broad Street and Peters Place.
In spring, he sometimes garnished a hat with a sprig of forsythia; in fall, he might be seen wearing a crown of autumn leaves.
A devoted attendee of borough council and board meetings, Colmorgen successfully lobbied for the installation of a sign in Marine Park to commemorate the life of Katherine Elkus White, Red Bank’s first and only female mayor, who also served as United State Ambassador to Denmark.
Here’s a video of Carl and his brother, Rob, being interviewed by former public library director Elizabeth McDermott about the effort.
Colmorgen also served on the volunteer fire department’s fire police squad, directing traffic around emergency scenes. He also volunteered at weekly municipal court sessions.
Devotees of redbankgreen‘s Where Have I Seen This Feature’ in the daily newsletter might know him as one of the ‘Colmorgen Kids.’ That’s our name for Carl and siblings Kathy Lou, a retired teacher, and Rob, a retired Red Bank policeman; together, since the earliest days of the feature, they would put their heads together to answer the visual riddle, sometimes jumping in a car to confirm a location.
Here’s the obituary:
Carl J. Colmorgen, 81, passed away on January 31, 2023. He was born in
Long Branch, NJ and spent his childhood in Red Bank. He graduated from Red
Bank High School in 1959 and had played baseball when they won the Shore
Conference. He later got a degree from Monmouth College.
He spent 30 years living in Tampa, Florida. There he worked selling, first
insurance and later golf equipment. When he closed Carl’s Golf in Safety Harbor,
he retired back to Red Bank.
At home, he umpired baseball games and served as a crossing guard in Red
Bank. Everyone recognized him because he wore crazy hats on holidays while
crossing the children. He was a member of the Red Bank Fire Police.
In his free time, he avidly followed Red Bank Catholic sports having been
adopted into a group of like-aged RBC graduates. Carl was also a diehard fan of
all the Tampa Bay teams – Rays, Buccaneers and Lightning. He enjoyed visiting
Florida to attend opening day of the Rays.
Carl was predeceased by his parents, Carl and Catherine Christoph
Colmorgen. He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law Robert and Deborah,
Tampa, Fl., daughter and son-in-law Lovee’ and Eric Findon, Stevenson Ranch
California, stepdaughter and son-in-law Lisa and Franco Polanco, Tampa and
stepdaughter and daughter-in-law Nickole and Melanie Bevan, Ellenton, FL.
There are also grandchildren, Jacqueline and Eric Findon, Jr., California and Austin and Kristyn Cubero, Florida and Anjalique Boksa, Georgia.
Also surviving are his brother and sister-in-law Robert and Deborah
Colmorgen, Eatontown and his sister Kathy Lou Colmorgen, Red Bank.
In accordance with his wishes, there will be no visitation or service. If you
want to remember him, consider a donation to your favorite charity.
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