Albert L. Colone was born July 8, 1944 in Oneonta the son of the late Ani Pasquale and Eva Gloria (Jerome) Colone.
He grew up on River Street, in his beloved 6th Ward, playing sandlot sports and generally tormenting the Wilcox’s and others with his older brother, Frank. Albert ultimately ended up a life-long resident of 6th Ward and helped to establish the 6th Ward Athletic Club and served as the Club’s first President.
Albert graduated from Oneonta High School in 1962 and would later go on to proudly serve his country in the United States Army from 1966 to 1968, when he was honorably discharged. It was during his time in the Army that he re-kindled his childhood love of drumming and percussion and attributed that musical background to extending his life from that point forward. His volunteer position as battalion drummer and later, percussionist for the Second Armored Division Band, kept him on post at Ford Hood, TX, when many of his peers left for and never returned from the war in Vietnam. With this to consider, it is easy to understand his passion for music and the importance of it throughout his life. There is no doubt that Albert had a rhythm and a beat that was all his own.
After leaving the Army, Albert returned home to Oneonta and took up a carpentry apprenticeship while starting a band with two other local musicians, Joel Chace and Tom Ives. After two years of performing as a trio, the band added a fourth member, Rick Lawn and formed the Jazz Quartet, Compass. Compass released their album, Compass Rises in 1973 and in the same year, performed at the opening of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC). Even as the members moved on into their “nine-to-five” careers, the band reunited frequently and continued to perform over a remarkable 45 year period.
Over the course of the 1970s, Albert spent his time working for the City of Oneonta and eventually took the reins of the Parks and Recreation Department, working to revitalize the City’s parks while promoting community engagement and activities, such as the 6th Ward Fast-Pitch Softball League. The League, and in particular games played under the lights of the 6th Ward were a highlight that he looked back on often. It was in 1977, after a stretch of successful soccer campaigns at both Hartwick and Oneonta State that he was asked by Mayor Jim Lettis “Is there such a thing as a National Soccer Hall of Fame?” Enamored with Cooperstown’s example, Albert took on the task to bring the Soccer Hall to Oneonta…..and in 1983, against all odds, he did just that. Oneonta was Soccertown, USA. During his tenure as Director, Albert oversaw the acquisition and development of the Wright National Soccer Campus and was responsible for the establishment and expansion of the Hall’s summer soccer tournament series, which would become a staple for elite travel soccer programs as well as a yearly shot-in-the arm to area businesses.
After leaving the hall, he founded Colone Associates, a sport-business consulting firm that focused on facilities development and tournament/event planning for communities seeking tourism revenue as means for bolstering economic development. In addition to working with the Chenango Soccer Club to develop the Emerson Sports Farm, Colone Associates successfully ran numerous multi-weekend soccer tournaments both in Allentown, PA (The Great Lehigh Valley Open) and Binghamton, NY (B.C. Kicks), both of which were considered elite competitions and financial boons to their respective communities. Even while running his small-business, Albert’s love for Oneonta remained steadfast as he continued to work with community leaders to spur economic development as a member of the Greater Oneonta Economic Development Council (GO-EDC) and the Mohawk Valley Economic Development District (MVEDD), always seeking to make a better Oneonta.
During his later years, he enjoyed spending time with his friends and family. Whether it be on the golf course, at the Saratoga Race Course, or just around the table with some good food and a few drinks, telling stories and having laughs.
It goes without saying that Albert enjoyed his life to the fullest and extracted the most out each and every role that he filled throughout.
Athlete, Veteran, Builder, Musician, Promoter, Entrepreneur, Leader, Father, Grandfather and most of all Dreamer.
At his core, Albert Colone was always, first-and-foremost, a Dreamer. You could see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice and in his heart. He was so fortunate that that as a result of a lifetime hard work and in most cases, brute-force, stubborn, determination, he was able to see many of his dreams become reality.
His loss is felt by the entire family, his many friends and by the community-at-large.
Albert is survived by his two sons, Luke (Ashley) Colone, West Deptford, NJ and Gregory Colone, Monroeville, PA; his siblings, Frank (Margaret), Lucia and Patrick Colone; and his grandchildren Holden Parker and Hadley Elizabeth Colone, the lights of his life.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, please consider supporting a cause close to your heart in Albert’s remembrance and live your life by his motto each and every day that you can.
LOVE – LAUGH – DREAM
Online condolences may be made by visiting www.grummonsfuneralhome.com
Arrangements are by the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, Oneonta.