Obituary: Harry James ‘Jim’ Colburn

March 25, 1947-February 2, 2024

Harry James “Jim” Colburn, 76, of Bedford, died at 11:35 a.m. on Friday, February 2, 2024.

Born March 25, 1947, in Bedford, IN, he was the son of George Carr and Mary Elizabeth “Betty” (Roberts) Colburn.

He married Judith Arnold on August 6, 1966, and she survives. Jim graduated from Shawswick High School and was an insurance agent before retirement. He was a member of the Faith Mission Church and a veteran of the U.S. Navy, serving on the USS Saratoga. After being honorably discharged from the US Navy in 1970, Jim continued working at Ideal Shoe Store, where he had worked for several years before his military service.

In 1973, he began a 45-year career as an insurance agent, beginning at Farm Bureau Insurance for 18 years, then 27 years as an independent agent. For many, he was “their favorite insurance man” because he was always willing to go above and beyond, putting the client’s interest above how much money he would make from the transaction.

He loved basketball and played throughout his school years, becoming quite a “star” in his high school years from 1962 to 1966 at Shawswick High School. As an adult, he coached a girls’ team at what was then the Girl’s Club in Bedford, and then, for several years, he coached the boys’ team at Stone City Christian Academy. All of the young men he coached claimed an exceptional place in his heart, and it gave him so much joy because many of them have stayed in touch over the years.

He also loved to golf, and even though his health had not allowed him to do much of it in recent years, a friend got him back on the course in the Summer of 2023. He had such a great time and was able to do what he thought he would never be able to do again.

Another thing he did that brought him joy for many years was he became Santa Claus at Christmas time, to the delight of many children all over town. He was even the downtown Santa one year, riding in the parade on the fire truck. The children he visited with all those years ago now have children and even grandchildren of their own, but they have not forgotten him as Santa.

He loved his wife, and his life’s goal was to ensure she was cared for. They met as babies, knew each other all their lives, and finally got together as sweethearts in high school and married shortly after graduation. They had two sons, whom he loved dearly and spent the last few years post-retirement doing everything he could for them.

He also loved Faith Mission Church. He began attending as a baby and was a faithful member until his death. He was willing to help out in any way he could, playing the trombone in the orchestra for many years, operating the soundboard, singing duets with his wife, and serving in many other ways. He loved his church family, and they loved him in return. So many other things could be written about Jim. If you have your own memories, you would like to post them on his Facebook page, and the family would enjoy reading them.

Survivors include his wife, Judy of Bedford; two sons, Jonathan Colburn of Bedford and James Colburn of Portland; a sister, Joanne Adams of Bedford; two sisters-in-law, Donna Pannell of Tampa, FL, and Donetta Eads of Bedford; a brother-in-law, Edward Arnold of Elora, TN; sister-in-law Sue Colburn, of Bedford; several nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, and one great-great niece.

His parents and two brothers, John Colburn and Ben Colburn, preceded him in death.

Funeral services will be conducted at 11:00 am on Wednesday, February 7th, at the Faith Mission Church, with Pastor Bryan Line and Rev. Leonard Sankey officiating. Visitation will be on Tuesday, February 6th, from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the Faith Mission Church.

Family and friends may express condolences at