Joseph J. Coll Jr., born 1942 to Joseph J. and Marguerite R Coll, left a forever imprint on this world. A member of the Immaculate Conception Parish, Joe grew up in that big, lively community that was Germantown. The oldest sibling in his family, Joe spent his childhood alongside his brothers, Dennis and Frank, and his sister, Marguerite. Outside of school, Joe filled his time serving as an altar boy, a boy scout, and working at the corner grocery store. An alum of Cardinal Dougherty High School, Joe went on to receive a degree from LaSalle University. Joe’s skills, expertise, and occupations knew no bounds. Following college, he spent time in the Navy, as a weatherman, and worked as an accountant for General Electric, while tending bar at the famous Crane’s Tavern in Germantown.
1966 proved a pivotal year in Joe’s life. On a summer night in Plymouth Meeting, Joe met Colleen Kelly, the woman with whom he’d share 51 unforgettable years. Colleen was his rock, his life partner. Together, they raised two beautiful children, Ryan and Moira, and helped support the upbringing of their three grandchildren, Fiona, William, and Alexandra. Over the years, Joe and Colleen lived in various parts of Philadelphia, all of which etched memories into the fabric of their lives. They spent their early years in East Falls, followed by many years in Chestnut Hill, where their children were raised. We’d be amiss if we failed to remember their years spent at the Jersey Shore. Both Sea Isle and Avalon were summer havens for the Colls. Joe would jet up and down that AC expressway each Friday, to meet Colleen, Ryan, and Moira at the beach. Family was the center of Joe’s life, a fact anyone who knew him would agree with. Joe served as the patriarch of the Coll family, the sounding board for advice, the listening ear always.
In 1977, with the support of Colleen, perhaps one of the greatest adventures of Joe’s life began. On January 3, 1977, Joe and Colleen made settlement at 122 South Easton Road, Glenside, Pennsylvania, and the rest is history. The Glenside Pub became a part of the family. Over the past 43 years, the Colls immersed themselves in the Glenside community, making the Pub the stomping ground of the 19038. Joe Coll built this place with love. His family became his employees and his staff and patrons became like family. The Pub did not gain its reputation out of luck or circumstance, but rather out of intention and purpose, driven primarily by Joe, Colleen and Ryan.
While the Pub became Joe’s primary occupation, his service and work spanned countless arenas. Joe’s charity began at home,
first with family, and then with friends and neighbors, who often became like family. Throughout his adult life, Joe supported countless organizations and institutions, just some of which include The Little Sisters of the Poor, Cheltenham Township, Glenside Youth Athletic Association, and Ancillae-Assumpta Academy. Joe had a way of making people feel welcomed and at home. He not only listened to, but cared deeply for others. Many will say he changed the direction of their life. Some would go as far as to say he saved theirs.
Joe was a simple, but infinitely wise man, whose mission was to love others. In his 77 years on this earth, he achieved that and so much more.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Ancillae-Assumpta Academy 2025 Church Rd Wyncote, PA 19095, LaSalle College High School 8605 W. Cheltenham Ave Wyndmoor, PA 19038, or to the Little Sisters of the Poor 5300 Chester Ave Philadelphia, PA 19143.
Note that the wake and funeral have been postponed due to an illness. Will update when the new schedule is announced.
Obituary and photo – John F. Murray Funeral Home
No services have been announced.