Christian C. Kolom Jr., 66, educator, administrator

February 07, 2005

Christian Constantyne Kolom Jr., a former educator and administrator in the Baltimore public school system, died of renal failure Jan. 31 at Jackson Hospital in Montgomery, Ala. He was 66.

Born in Northwest Baltimore, he attended St. Pius V Parochial School, and graduated from Salesianum High School in Wilmington, Del.

"My parents wanted to continue his Catholic education, but there were no boys high schools in Baltimore for black students," said his sister, Helena Kolom-Thom of Baltimore. "So for four years, my brother and four other black students caught the train to Wilmington and attended high school."

Mr. Kolom graduated from Salesianum in 1957. He earned a bachelor's degree in social work from Loyola College in 1961 and was a social worker for several years with the city Department of Social Services.

He switched careers and became a special-education teacher and, later, an assistant to school Superintendent Roland N. Patterson. During that time, his sister said, he earned master's degrees in education and business administration from Loyola College.

Mr. Kolom embarked on a third career in hospital administration. He worked at Greater Southeast Community Hospital in Washington and the University of Pennsylvania Health System's Scheie Eye Institute in Philadelphia. He then became chief executive officer of L. Richardson Memorial Hospital in Greensboro, N.C., and assumed a similar job at Gateway Hospital in East St. Louis, Ill.

He also was an administrator with Aramark, a private contractor, at the Farmington Correctional Center's medical unit in Missouri.

Mr. Kolom retired with his family in Gadsden, Ala., and later moved to Montgomery.

He was a longtime member of Opus Dei and the Knights of Columbus.

He married Joyce Evans in 1985. An earlier marriage ended in divorce.

Services were held Saturday in Montgomery.

In addition to his wife and sister, survivors include five daughters, Aigner Kolum and Arabia Kolom, both of Montgomery, Devara Kolom-Achuko of Washington, Donna Kolom-Milord of Miami and Dana Kolom-Allen of Catonsville; a son, Christian Kolom III of Columbia; a stepson, Antoin Matthews of Winter Park, Fla.; and three grandchildren.

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