Obituary for James Roger "Jimmy" Colello
James R. Colello "Jimmy" died peacefully Sunday Feb 4, 2018, he was the beloved husband of Anne (Candela) Colello, cherished brother of the late Amilia DeAngelis, Rose Larosa, Mary Florio and Anthony (Tony) and Uncle of Anthony Colello.
Jimmy was certainly no stranger to the antique truck hobby in the northeast section of the United States. He has been active in the antique truck world for more than two decades. Initially he was involved with the Antique Truck Club of New England, where he served a few terms as its Vice President. In the late 1980's he also became involved with the Green Mountain Heavy Haulers. He was a Charter Member of the Green Mountain Bull Dawg Chapter of ATCA, where he served as the Chapter Vice President since the Chapter was founded in June of 1992. Jimmy was born in Millis on March 18, 1928, on the property where he and his wife reside. The original house he was born in was demolished in 1972, and his new home was constructed in its place. His father, James Colello, was a career employee of the town of Millis Highway Department. This perhaps helped to foster Jimmy's interest in and love of trucks and construction equipment. Following his graduation from high school, Jimmy started driving a truck for the local International dealership; delivering new tractors and farm equipment to their owners. Although he enjoyed his first full-time job and the experience he was acquiring, by 1950 his ambitions had grown, and he decided to start his own contracting business.
Jimmy began this business endeavor with a 1946 Ford ton and a half dump truck; a "War Model" as he described it. Then over the next few years he quickly built his fleet to include a GMC model 350 and a GMC cab-over. The cab-over had been originally owned by Anchor Freight Lines, where it had been used as a road tractor. During these early years he typically hired out to plow gardens and to cut tress and firewood. By the early 1960’s, as the business grew he bought new For Super Duty F-700 dump trucks, equipped with air brakes, to include a 1962 and a 1963 model. Often during the early 1960's, Jimmy would supplement his in¬come as a part-time driver for Millis Trans¬port. The owner of Millis Transport had difficul¬ties getting drivers to work on weekends or holidays, and Jimmy didn't mind sitting be¬hind the wheel of a B-61 Mack. In fact, one of the Millis Transport's Macks, which he drove when it was newly acquired, Jimmy ultimately bought from Millis Trans¬port upon the truck's retirement.
Finally, in 1966, as his business continued to grow and expand, he realized the need for a heavier truck with a tandem rear axle setup. It was then when he purchased his first Mack Truck, a DM-600. According to Jimmy, it was one of the first DM-600's delivered in the Northeast. Soon thereafter, it was joined by a second DM-600. His first Mack was a long and faithful friend. After purchasing these first two Macks, he always remained with Mack Trucks, for as he put it, "I have always run Macks since 1966. I always had such great luck with them, that I didn't dare run any¬thing else!" He purchased his most recent Mack in 1998, an RD Model.
1966 was also an important year for him from another perspective: it was the year that he and Anne began the difficult task of trying to secure ICG authority. Basically, he had expanded his business into the dry bulk commodities transport, and needed rights to go a mere two miles into Connecticut. Unfortunately, he met resistance from a business in New York, which wasn't even a competitive trucking business. After some hard work and diligence, the ICG authority was finally secured. Ultimately he broadened his fleet to include as many as twelve Mack Trucks, along with approximately twenty trailers, consist¬ing of dry bulk tanker trailers, fat trailers, and dump trailers. He hauled talc and other fine aggregate material from places, such as: Lee, Massachusetts; Stonington, Connecticut; and West Windsor and Ludlow, Vermont. Relating to the history of this phase of his operations, from 1966 until 2000 when he sold it off, Jimmy stated that, "we never missed a delivery... and never had an accident!"
In 1972, he further developed his business endeavors, when he acquired Black Swamp Used Auto Parts. Jimmy actively ran this used parts business for about fifteen to twenty years. This sizeable parcel of land is the location where he placed the terminal for his trucks, trailers, and construction equipment. The last few remnants of old vehicles stored in the Black Swamp yard were three 1950's vintage GMG trucks. Bob Giddings of Pittsford, Vermont acquired two of these old rigs in 1996.
From the antique truck hobby perspective, one of the first trucks, which Jimmy restored, was a single axle Mack B-61 lettered "Black Swamp". This truck had a factory installed concave cab. He ran it for a number of years before selling it to John Danielski of Chittenden, Vermont. He also undertook the restoration of two single axle Mack B-75's. These beauties were commonly seen together for years at shows throughout the Northeast. The B-75 partnership dissolved, when he sold the B-75 ("L" Cab) to Ed Fabian of West Rutland, Vermont. Then during the winter of 2002-03, Jimmy undertook his most recent restoration. This was another B-61 Mack, but a very special one. This was the first Mack, which he had ever driven, the one from Millis Transport. Somewhat different than it originally was, when he first drove it; the B-61 was converted to a tandem axle with a 237 HP diesel engine, a six speed transmission, and that ever important component, power steering!
He also was a John Deere enthusiast, and restored several old John Deere tractors over the years. In fact, one of the early Deere's is a "General Purpose" model, the tractor he first operated when he was twelve years old. Jimmy and his trucks have "graced" perhaps more than one hundred truck shows, transportation events, and parades. He was involved with the "Old Ironsides Convoy" in 1998, where his B-75 Mack hauled a trailer of logs from the Charlestown Navy Yard to Fall River, Massachusetts. The pine logs, which Jimmy hauled, were slated to be used on the H.M.S. Bounty. For a couple of years, in the late 1990's, he also assisted with the photography of the antique trucks on display at the ATGA Macungie meet for use in "Double Clutch".
Shortly after attending the 2003 ATCA National Meet in Macungie, Jimmy underwent some corrective heart surgery. Unfortunate complications of that surgery made for a difficult recovery, but Jimmy didn't lose heart, fought back, and made tremendous strides with his recovery. He and his trucks were once again visible at a few shows in 2004. Moreover, he's looked forward with eager anticipation to the 2007 U.S. Capitol Holiday Tree Convoy, when once again a collection of antique Mack Trucks delivered the Holiday Tree to Washington. DC from Vermont.
Funeral Mass will be Thurs 10:30 at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Millis. Burial to follow at Vine Lake Cemetery in Medfield. Visiting hrs will be Wed 4-7 at Roberts Mitchell Caruso F.H. 90 Curve Street, Millis. Those wishing may make memorial contributions in Jimmy's name to: New England Baptist Hospital, www.nebh.org, Brigham and Women's Hospital www.brighamandwomens.org or Seasons hospice www.seasons.org.