Maurice Remington Colberg, Jr. passed away suddenly on Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018, in Billings. He was born on Dec. 26, 1934, in Minneapolis, first son of Maurice Colberg, Sr. and Odessa Redding Colberg.
His parents moved their family “home” to Billings, which put them nearer their Hardin and Sarpy Creek families in the early 1940s. Maury was an active child, excellent student and athlete. He graduated from Billings Senior in 1953. He participated in all sports (football, baseball, basketball, and track and field) along with several school activities, including Key Club and Boys State. Maury attended Montana State University in Missoula (yes, it was called that then) in 1953. He played basketball on a squad known as the “Fabulous Frosh” and later for the Griz while pursuing his business and law degrees. At UM, Maury became a proud and loyal member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, where he met many lifelong friends.
Maury lived an exemplary, honorable life that reached thousands of people. He treasured his family and dear friends, the constitution and law, sports, and his community. He was an avid golfer, fisherman and UM Grizzlies fan.
Maury was married to his wife of 56 years, Patricia Stewart of Helena. After their first date while attending UM, Maury knew that Pat was the love of his life and told his friends he would marry her. They were married Sept. 12, 1959, and, in July 1960, their first of three children, Bradley Allan, was born in Helena. The family welcomed son Steven Stewart, March, 1962 and daughter Cathleen Ann in September, 1966. Maury and Pat’s relationship was a beautiful demonstration of marriage. They were the best of friends and gave each other the support and freedom to each live their own lives. As Pat’s health failed in later years, Maury faithfully cared for her, allowing her to stay in their family home.
Maury was an engaged family man, spending time coaching his sons’ little league teams, fishing and hunting with his boys and his own father and teaching the kids to play golf. Maury and Pat’s love and undying support of the family was always at the center of their worlds. Billings West Bears, Three Forks Wolves, Spokane’s Lewis and Clark Tigers, Missoula’s Sentinel Spartans and Hellgate Knights, Carroll College Saints, and MSU Bobcats. Academics, basketball, football, golf, track and field, rugby, majorettes, cheerleaders — being the biggest fans of their children and grandchildren was the focus of their lives.
Maury’s large circle of lifelong friends is evidence of his personality, his fun-loving spirit and his love of life. He loved to have a good time, even if he might be “twitching” and complaining about his last golf round.
Maury was a true scholar and steward of the law. His first law position was as a clerk of the Montana Supreme Court in Pat’s hometown of Helena. Maury soon accepted a law position in a Billings firm and thrived as a practicing attorney in Billings. Maury’s law career culminated when he was appointed District Court Judge in 1989. Maury sat on the bench for 13 years and was a respected, fair, conscientious judge. When not pursuing his career, Maury found time to devour books ranging from world and U.S. history to all of the latest mystery novels.
Maury was a committed community servant. He was an Army Reserve in the early ’60s. He served on the School Board during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. His work with the Montana Bar Association, Yellowstone Kiwanis, the University of Montana Alumni Association and as a member of First United Methodist Church was important to him. Many young people in Billings knew Maury as “The BUG Man,” serving Kiwanis by delivering ice cream to students in Billings who worked to “bring up grades.”
When Pat passed in 2016, Maury never thought he’d find happiness again. He was blessed with a special relationship with Judy Buchanan, with whom he shared many adventures over the past few years. Judy gave Maury love and happiness in his late life, along with becoming a treasure of love for the rest of the family.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Patricia, and his parents. He is survived by his children; grandchildren Ryan, Derek, Patrick Colberg (Brad), Jacob and Luke Colberg (Steve), and Morgan and Riley Frazier (Caty); brothers Roger Colberg (wife Karen) and Richard Colberg; and his sister Karen (Clark) Ashby.
Cremation has occurred. Memorial services will be at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, at First United Methodist Church, 2800 Fourth Ave. N., Billings.
Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary is handling arrangements. Maury may be honored by a donation to the Angel Fund, Billings Food Bank or to a charity of choice.