John A. McColgan, retired Westinghouse Electric Corp. executive, dies

John A. McColgan, a retired Westinghouse Electric Corp. executive who was known as “Chief” by his grandchildren, died Oct. 17 from pneumonia and heart failure at St. Agnes Hospital. The longtime Ellicott City resident was 89.

John Anthony McColgan, son of Arthur McColgan, a Realtor, and his wife, Frances McColgan, a homemaker, was born in Baltimore and raised in Catonsville. He was a graduate of Mount Saint Joseph High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from what is now Towson University.


While a student at Towson, he met and fell in love with the former Patricia Jackson, whom he married in 1956, settling in Ellicott City and raising their three children.

Mr. McColgan began working at Westinghouse as a summer intern and rose to supervise the company’s Peace Corps education program in Micronesia. He also worked in international marketing at Westinghouse in Iran and Ireland before establishing his own consulting business. After retiring in 1990, he was an adjunct business professor at the University of Baltimore.


He was an avid sports fan and a season-ticket holder to Baltimore’s football franchises as well as University of Maryland basketball. The longtime Centennial Lane resident enjoyed vegetable gardening and sharing his bounty with family and friends while trying to figure out how to deal with groundhogs and deer, family members said.

Mr. McColgan was a lifelong lover of ice cream, which went back to a summer job as a Good Humor man. He also was an accomplished ice cream maker in his own right and was known for using fresh peaches and strawberries.

Because of his commanding presence and outsize personality, he was affectionately called “Chief” by his grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Oct. 21 at St. Mark’s Roman Catholic Church in Catonsville.

In addition to his wife of 64 years, who lives in Marriottsville, he is survived by his son, Timothy McColgan of West Palm Beach, Florida; a daughter, Amy Page of Marriottsville; a sister, Patricia A. McGarrity of Baltimore; five grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter. Another daughter, Mary Frances McColgan Howard, died in 2018.