Gregory Colla, an eighth-semester civil engineering student from South Windsor, died on Friday Feb. 12.
Faculty, students, peers, family and the community all mourn the loss of a fellow Husky.
Colla died at Manchester Memorial Hospital surrounded by his family. Colla is the son of Wayne and Carol (Turcott) Colla.
He is survived by his parents, his brother Kevin, his sister Kim and his maternal grandmother.
According to his obituary in the Hartford Courant, Colla fought a year-long, on-and-off battle with heroin. Online condolences applaud the family’s honesty about his addiction and offer sorrows to those afflicted by drug abuse.
Brandon Wallach, an eighth-semester management information systems major said the energy Colla brought into the room was always bright enough to make others happy.
“He will be forever missed but certainly not forgotten,” Wallach said.
Wallach and Colla went through South Windsor schools together and kept in touch through mutual friends at UConn.
Colla loved music and playing his guitar. He was an avid baseball fan and especially liked the Red Sox, according to Wallach.
He commuted to UConn from home and worked part time at Nomads Adventure Quest in South Windsor.
Dave Marks, Colla’s previous manager at Nomads, said that all the workers were sad and surprised at Colla’s passing. Marks said Colla was quiet, but always had the funniest one-liners.
Wallach described Colla as extremely bright, given that he made the Dean’s List, even in the competitive and challenging school of engineering.
Rachael Agruso, an eighth-semester business management major described Colla as an acquaintance from high school and remembers him as a funny kid.
Calling hours are Feb. 17 from 5p.m. - 8 p.m. at the Samsel & Carmon Funeral Home in South Windsor. Friends and family will gather there on Feb. 18 at 9 a.m., then travel to St. Margaret Mary Church followed by the burial at Wapping Cemetery.
Donations in his name can be made to the St. Vincent DePaul Society.
The Counseling and Mental Health Services and the Dean of Students Office is able for support. Condolences can be sent to the Dean’s Office, Unit Box 4062.
Those wishing to plan a campus memorial service can contact Christine Wilson. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Nobody at this age should have to go to their friends’ wakes and funerals,” Wallach said. “My heart goes out to the Colla family and all of Greg’s friends. He's in a better place now and I ask everyone respects his family's privacy during this difficult time as they recover and return to as normal life of a life as they can after losing someone as special as Greg.”
Claire Galvin is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.