Capt. Lawrence Stuart Colwell, USN, Ret.

Published 5:55 pm Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Larry was born in Auburn, NY on April 7, 1931 to Paul and Blanche Colwell. After graduating from East High School in Auburn, he was offered  an appointment to West Point. He declined because his heart was set on the Naval Academy so he went to the University of New Mexico on an NROTC scholarship for a year. He entered the United States Naval Academy in 1950 and graduated as an Ensign with a BS degree in 1954. While there, he did a lot of sailing and tennis and was part of the rowing team that participated in the Olympics.


In 1954, he joined the USS Stormes DD 780 and became the Engineering Officer after a brief training at the Navy School in Boston. In 1956, he became the Communication Officer and Staff to Destroyer DIV 362.  In 1958, he joined the USS Sea Poacher SS 406 (diesel submarine) in Key West. In 1959, he graduated from the US Navy Advanced Nuclear Power Program and joined the USS John Marshall SSBN 611, a fleet ballistic missile submarine. Following this tour in 1963, he became the Commanding Officer of various Reserve Surface and Engineering Units in Binghamton, NY, Groton, CT and Brooklyn, NY.


After leaving the Navy, he earned an MBA in Marketing and held several positions in aerospace firms including VP of Marketing for Hercules, VP of Schneider Assoc., a research firm and Project Manager for Plessey Aerospace. Before he retired completely, he had his own consulting firm.


Larry continued to serve the Navy by becoming a Blue and Gold Officer for the Naval Academy. He interviewed high school students in the region who were interested in attending the Academy. If he felt they were good candidates but their qualifications did not quite measure up, he advised them on what they needed to do to be accepted.  Sometimes that meant going to the Academy prep school beforehand.


On September 18, 1995, he married the former Joyce Senior DeWolf who survives. They lived in New Bern before moving to Washington in 1993. After moving to Washington, he became a member of the Washington Rowing Club and started most mornings by taking a scull out on the Pamlico River.


Larry was an active member of the US Sail and Power Squadron. In New Bern, he served as treasurer of the Cape Lookout Squadron. In Washington, he served as treasurer and then Commander of the Pamlico Squadron. He taught several courses, his favorite being Celestial Navigation. Later he served as District Assistant Education Officer and then District Education Officer. He was also a member of the Washington Racquet Club and enjoyed playing competitive tennis against other clubs. He served on the Board of Directors of the Washington Yacht and Country Club as Yachting Director for five years. Until health issues overtook him, he was also an active boater and enjoyed both sailing and power boating. When tennis was no longer in the picture, he took up the challenge of golf which continued to be a challenge as long as he was able to play.


In addition to his wife, he is survived by his sister, Virginia Read and husband Donald of Milwaukee WI and Marco Island, FL, his children, Diane Allison Colwell of Washington, DC, Mark Stewart Colwell of Binghamton, NY, Cheryl Monahan and husband David of Twin Mtn, NH, Bill DeWolf and wife Laurel of Vista, CA  and Gregg DeWolf and wife Jean of Rocky Point, Mexico.


Since boating education was so dear to his heart, if anyone would like to make a memorial contribution it can be sent to The Colwell Education Fund c/o Edie Miller, Commander, Pamlico Sail and Power Squadron, 133 Fairway Dr. Washington, NC 27889.


You may share a memory with the family by visiting


There will be no visitations or memorial services. This was Larry’s final request.


Hillside Funeral Service & Cremations, 4500 Hwy 264 E, Washington, NC has been given the honor of being entrusted with serving the Colwell family.