John Tower Colvin, owned lumber company

May 12, 2014

Mr. John Tower Colvin, beloved father and friend, died Wednesday, May 7, 2014, from complications related to pneumonia.

He was born is Missoula, Mont. Jan. 4, 1927, to Howard Milton Colvin and Katharine Ostrander. John’s early years were spent in Missoula and New Orleans, La. The remainder of his childhood and adolescent years was in Washington, D.C., residing on Veasey St. N. W. While there he was an enthusiastic member of the “Veasey St. Gang.”

He graduated from Woodrow Wilson High in 1945. Johnny was recognized for pole vaulting and fine athleticism, leading to an athletic scholarship to Duke University. However his education was interrupted by World War II in which he served in the Army until 1946. He then attended Duke with a double major in psychology and mathematics, graduating in 1951

His summers were spent lifeguarding in Rehoboth Beach, continuing his natural love of the water. It is here that he met his dear late wife Mary Janvier Butz (deceased 1978) with whom he had two children: John Tower Colvin Jr. (deceased 2010) and Margaret K. Colvin. Later he married Joyce K. Kriner (deceased 2001).

Mr. Colvin enjoyed a career as a lumber broker in Wilmington. His last employ was his company, Tower Lumber, where he continued to make sales until his death.

He is survived by his sister Katharine Colvin Hart of Washington, D.C.; daughter Margaret Kinkead Colvin of Rehoboth Beach; and granddaughter Christine Tower Colvin of Kaneohe, Hawaii, and her four children, as well as his rescue dog and faithful companion Chico Bandito, also of Rehoboth Beach. In addition there are stepchildren by his second wife, Linda Matassa and Sean Kriner; and three stepgrandchildren.

Funeral services will be held Friday, May 16, at 11 a.m., at Parsell Funeral Homes & Crematorium, Atkins-Lodge Chapel, Lewes, where friends may visit beginning at 10 a.m. Internment with military honors will follow at 1 p.m., at Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 26669 Patriots Way, Millsboro.

The family requests that condolences be expressed in the form of contributions in John’s name to either the National Humane Society, 40 East Main Street, Newark, DE 19711, or Meals on Wheels, 32409 Lewes-Georgetown Highway, Lewes, DE 19958.


Please visit Mr. Colvin's Life Memorial webpage and sign his online guestbook at