Obituary: Alumnus Colby Umbrell Killed in
Colby Umbrell, a graduate of the class of 2004, was
killed on May 3 in Musayyib, Iraq. He was 26.
According to the Defense Department, Umbrell, a first
lieutenant in the Army, died from wounds suffered when an
improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. He
was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry
Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division,
Fort Richardson, Alaska.
Umbrell, who was from Doylestown, Pa., was a political science major and a reserve
defensive lineman and special teams player on the football
team. He also worked in the Admissions Office, as
part of a small public relations team.
Writing to the Johns Hopkins community to inform them
of Umbrell's death, President William R. Brody said,
"[Football] coach Jim Margraff tells me that, though Colby
suffered many injuries during his career, he was a focused,
disciplined, relentless athlete. He was one of the
hardest-working players on his team — and one of the
most well-liked." As a junior, he was a part of the first
Blue Jay team to win the Centennial Conference title.
A paratrooper described by his parents as believing
strongly that his mission in Iraq was important to the
establishment of democracy in that country, Umbrell also
devoted himself to helping Iraqi children. Concerned to see
that the children loved school but that some had very
little in the way of supplies, he was working with students
at the Doylestown middle school he once attended to collect
pencils, paper and other necessities.
The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. today, May 14, at
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 235 E. State St., in
Doylestown, Pa. Burial will be at Arlington National
Cemetery in Arlington, Va., at 3 p.m. on Friday, May 18.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made
to the 1st Lt. Colby James Umbrell Memorial Fund, c/o First
Trust Bank, 288 S. Main St., Doylestown, PA 28901.
Umbrell was the second recent Johns Hopkins graduate
known to have been killed in Iraq. Army Capt. Jonathan
Grassbaugh, a member of the class of 2003, was killed on
April 7 while on patrol.
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