Samuel Colgain, a Baltimore County educator who served for 25 years as the first principal at Edmondson Heights Elementary School and served in the Pacific during World War II, died of T-cell lymphoma and acute leukemia Sept. 10 at his Arbutus home. He was 83 and lived in Arbutus for 55 years -- the last 46 in the same house.
Born in Easton, Mr. Colgain had completed two years of college before his service with the 699th Signal Corps of the 5th Army Air Force in New Guinea. He attained the rank of warrant officer.
Returning home, Mr. Colgain earned his bachelor's degree in education at what is now Salisbury State University. Taking classes at night, he earned a master's degree in education from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1951.
Mr. Colgain began teaching in 1947 at Arbutus Elementary School. He later became vice principal at Randallstown Elementary, and in 1954 was named principal at Westchester Elementary. In 1956, he opened the Edmondson Heights school -- and remained as principal until retiring in 1981.
"We've heard from children that he taught at Arbutus many, many years ago," said his wife of 53 years, the former Maud Jester.
Services were held Saturday.
He also is survived by two sons, Samuel Colgain III of Catonsville and Joseph E. Colgain of Norrisville; a brother, Joseph B. Colgain of Arbutus; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren -- including a great-granddaughter born six hours before he died.