Bob Colombosian, Whose Family Popularized Yogurt in North America, Dies at 92

Colombosian, Robert “Bob” 92, a longtime resident of Andover, Mass. passed away peacefully at home with his loving family by his side on April 30, 2018.

Robert “Bob” Colombosian (Photo: Ann Hermes/The Eagle-Tribune. Robert Colombosian)

Born on Dec. 8, 1925, Bob was the son of Sarkis and Rose (Krikorian) Colombosian who were the founders of Colombo & Sons Creamery, incorporated in 1929 as the first yogurt dairy in America. He graduated from Punchard High School, Andover class of 1944 and attended Bryant & Stratton College of Boston. He was also a proud Word War II Army veteran.

Bob married Alice (Amboian) of Detroit, Mich. in 1947 and they celebrated 61 wonderful years together until her passing in 2008. Their wedding present from his parents was a milk route, where they delivered milk door-to-door around Merrimack Valley under the name “Wild Rose Creamery.”

Bob was a true entrepreneur with a creative spirit who started and cultivated many businesses such as Colombo Yogurt, Inc., Autolab Imports in Woburn, Grumpy’s Restaurant in Boston, Colombo Frozen Yogurt Shoppe at Faneuil Hall and Sweet Scoops in Salem, Mass. He was central to the development of Colombo Frozen Yogurt “The Cultured Cow”. In 2003, he was coaxed out of retirement by General Mills, the owner of Colombo yogurt, and became an integral part of their television advertising campaign. In 2004 accompanied by his wife Alice, he appeared in the commercials commemorating the 75th anniversary of Colombo Yogurt. That same year he received a proclamation by Governor Mitt Romney, was recognized by Mayor Thomas Menino at Boston City Hall and received a key to the Town of Andover for his contributions to the local community. Post-retirement Bob remained active as a volunteer for 15 years at Lawrence General Hospital, retiring on his 90th birthday. Bob also believed in giving back to the community and was a generous contributor to a scholarship fund at Bentley University and to several Armenian organizations. He had served as a Parish Council Member of the Holy Cross Armenian Apostolic Church of Lawrence, and was a member of the St. Vartanatz Armenian Church, Chelmsford.

Bob was also a renowned race car driver and Member of the Sports Car Club of America from 1957-1967 where he was New England champion for many years. He drove modified sports cars and competed at raceways throughout the Northeast and eastern Canada as well as at Sebring Raceway in Fla. and at Watkins Glen, N.Y. After his racing career ended, he was frequently seen driving around his beloved Andover in his red mini cooper.

True to his historical roots, he also spent his last few years making yogurt on his kitchen stove using an original family recipe from Armenia and would deliver home-made yogurt and string cheese to his many friends.

Bob is survived by his daughters Karen Colombosian of Charlestown, Linda Colombosian of Newburyport, Nancy (Mike) Czlonka of Hinsdale, IL and Robin Colombosian of North Andover. He was pre-deceased by his wife Alice and daughter Valerie. He also leaves three Grandsons, Myles and Robert Couyoumjian and Michael Czlonka, sisters Ann Hallahan (Bill) of Sutton, NH and Mary Webb of Newbury, N.H., and was pre-deceased by his loving Brother John “Beep” Colombosian of Andover. In addition he leaves several nieces, nephews, brothers and sisters-in-law, and countless extended family and friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to either The Armenian Apostolic Church at High Pointe 1280 Boston Rd., Haverhill Mass. 01835; or St. Vartanantz Armenian Church, 180 Old Westford Rd, Chelmsford, Mass. 01824.

Calling hours at Burke-Magliozzi Funeral home, 390 North Main Street, Andover, on Sunday from 2-6 p.m. His Funeral will be celebrated on Monday at 9:30 a.m. in the Armenian Church at High Pointe, 1280 Boston Rd, Haverhill, Mass. 01835. For additional information, please visit, www.burkemagliozzi.com.

 

Published in the Boston Globe on May 2, 2018

 

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Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles written and submitted by members of the community, which make up our community bulletin board.

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