Pasquale (Pat) Colombo, 79, of Ponte Vedra, Florida and formerly of Bronxville, NY, passed away on September 2, 2021, after a long battle with pulmonary fibrosis. He is survived by his wife, Gail Dudack and son, J. Ross Colombo, and future daughter-in-law Jessie Wheeler.
Pat was born in New Haven, CT to Angelina (LaFemina) and James Colombo, where he, his parents and grandparents lived on Wooster Street, the “Little Italy” of New Haven. This is where his love of food began. After graduating from the University of New Haven, Pat worked as an accountant at Ernst and Young before shifting to a long and successful career in the apparel industry. His first job was at Jaeger, a British sportwear company where he was tasked with bringing the label to the US and opening showrooms around the country. He later became President of Troy Shirt Makers Guild, (Troy, NY) one of this country’s finest men’s shirt manufacturers. He rebuilt the brand and bought a historic townhouse in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan to use as the company’s exclusive showroom. Buyers from quality men’s store, like Brooks Brothers and specialty stores all over the country, came here to order shirts manufactured under private label. In the early 1980s, he worked with Italian menswear designer, Leo Lotzi, who provided fine, tailor-made-to-measure suits to many of the high-end men’s stores on the East Coast. Pat took his experience to Aquascutum where he designed men’s shirts before launching his own shirt brand. This led to opening a retail store of his own known as P.J. Huntsman in the historic landmark, Bar Building on 44th street in Manhattan. He also set-up shop at the Hampton’s Classic Polo event where he built an exclusive list of clients who would come to New York City to shop at his store. Before retiring, Pat brought P.J. Huntsman to Pondfield Road in Bronxville, NY where he sold both men’s and women’s wear.
Anyone who knew Pat, knows he was comfortable in his skin. He had many passions whether it was food, sportscars, sailing or entertaining. Pat and his wife were active tennis players at the Bronxville Field Club and at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club in Ponte Vedra, Florida for many years. Mostly, Pat was a “foodie” and gourmet cook. He would often host an entourage of his ROMEO (Retired Old Men who Eat Out) friends to his home in Bronxville where he would effortlessly whip up a delicious linguini and clam sauce lunch and serve bottomless bottles of wine. This group bonded over many lunches either at home, in the Hamptons, Don Pepe’s in Ozone Park, or on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx where they would meet for clams, oysters and martinis. And for each occasion, Pat would be dressed in-style. Pat loved being around people and made everyone feel welcome in his presence. He was charismatic and never passed up an opportunity for a debate on politics. He was generous, warm, and loving to everyone in his life. and will be sorely missed by many.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, September 24, at 11 am at the Christ Episcopal Church on Solana Road in Ponte Vedra Beach. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Pat’s favorite charity St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
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