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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University May 14, 2007 | Vol. 36 No. 34
Obituary: Alumnus Colby Umbrell Killed in Iraq


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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