COLLEY, Jerry Joseph
Jerry Joseph Colley, age 76, of Atlanta, passed away peacefully on February 17, 2021 from complications of leukemia. He was with his wife and older son. Mr. Colley was born May 12, 1944 in Atlanta, the fourth child of Van Buren and Hallie R. Colley. He attended high school at St. Pius X Catholic High School in Atlanta. He received his BBA in Accounting from Georgia State University (GSU) in 1966, his Master of Professional Accountancy from GSU in 1968, and his Master of Taxation from GSU in 1983. Mr. Colley was a member of Delta Sigma Pi, national business fraternity, Beta Gamma Sigma, national honorary business society, and Beta Alpha Psi, national honorary accounting society.
Mr. Colley served in the Finance Corps of the U.S. Army from Feb. 1968 until honorably discharged from active duty in Nov. 1969, serving at Ft. Benning GA, Ft. Ord CA, and one year at US Army HQ in Long Binh, Vietnam.
He was a founder and majority owner of Colley & Kise, CPAs, for 16 years. Mr. Colley taught for many years as an adjunct instructor of accounting at DeKalb College (now GSU), Emory University, and taught taxation at Georgia State University.
In 1984, Jerry and his wife Gloria became active in bicycle touring in Georgia. By 1985, Jerry and several cycling friends founded the Bicycle Ride Across Georgia (BRAG) and created a Board of Directors. By 1990, Jerry had become Ride Director and CEO of BRAG, leading BRAG to become one of the premier cross-state bicycle rides in the nation. He started the BRAG Spring Tune-Up Ride, the Georgia BikeFest, and the BRAG Winter Event. He led up to 2,600 people across the state of Georgia on bicycles for a week each June for 25 years.
Jerry was a founder of Bike Florida, another successful cross-state bicycle ride. He also led groups of cyclists to other rides in the U.S., including RAGBRAI, Bike Across Massachusetts, Cycle Across Maryland, Bike FL, C & O Canal, and Natchez Trace.
Jerry and his wife Gloria coordinated many international group bicycle rides including Mexico, Cuba, Costa Rica, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Hungary, The Baltics, Sweden, and New Zealand. He also participated in hikes with the Atlanta Outdoor Club to Machu Picchu in Peru and across Bavaria in Germany. He and his family visited Brazil, Belize, Guatemala, Croatia, Montenegro, and Greece.
During his career, Jerry was a member and organizer of several notable organizations. With a life-long interest in history, Jerry became founder and First Commander of The Atlanta World War II Roundtable. This organization provided opportunity for veterans to share their stories. To name a few of his accomplishments, Jerry was Habitat for Humanity (Chairman of the Gwinnett County Board of Advisors), Leadership Gwinnett, Young Working for Georgia Gubernatorial Campaign (Co-Treasurer), Max Cleland for Senate Campaign (Financial Advisor), Gwinnett County United Negro College Fund (Outstanding Leadership Award), Northlake Kiwanis Club (President), Atlanta Civil War Round Table, (President),Central Night Shelter for the Homeless (Volunteer Trainer), and a member of the American Institute of CPAs, Georgia Society of CPAs, Southern Bicycle League, Atlanta Track Club, League of American Bicyclists, and the Atlanta Outdoor Club.
Jerry had a lifelong love of bicycling, jogging, walking, camping, hiking, photography, Spanish, Civil War and World War II history, genealogy, and listening to biographical books of successful leaders.
Jerry is survived by his wife of 51 years, Gloria Thomas Colley of Atlanta and their two sons, Mark Colley of Cumming; Michael Colley and wife, Luciana Lessa Rodrigues of Atlanta; his sister, Nanelle King; sister, Miriam Hunt and husband, Bill Hunt of Doraville; brother, Eric V. Colley and wife, GeAnne Colley of Benson North Carolina; sister-in-law, Patricia Thomas North and husband, Jim North of Gainesville, FL and many beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Jerry lived his life well. His accomplishments in the community were enjoyed by many. He was kind, thoughtful, intelligent and a friend to all who knew him. Please join our family to celebrate his life at the Roswell Funeral Home, 950 Mansell Rd., Roswell, GA 30076 on February 24th from 4:00 to 6:00. The immediate family is asked to arrive at 3:00. The Mass for Mr. Colley will take place at St. Brendan's Catholic Church, 4633 Shiloh Rd., Cumming GA, 30040 on February 25th at 11:00. Burial will take place at the GA National Cemetery, 1080 Scott Hudgens Drive, Canton, GA 30114 in March.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Jerry to the Central Night Shelter, located in Central Presbyterian Church. The mailing Address is 2107 N. Decatur Rd., Suite 479, Decatur GA 30033 or donate on line https://www.centralnightshelter.org or donations may be made to St. Brenden's Catholic Church Food Pantry, 4633 Shiloh Rd., Cumming, GA 30040. Note on memo line: IHO Jerry Colley.