The Town of Purcellville’s flag is flying at half-staff until next Wednesday to commemorate the life of Purcellville Volunteer Fire Company Assistant Chief Aerts “Buddy” Colby, following his sudden death Aug. 12 at the age of 64.
Before landing in Purcellville 45 years ago, Colby’s interest in volunteer firefighting began at an early age, when he and his two brothers were inspired by their father’s position as the volunteer fire chief of the Round Hill Volunteer Fire Company.
His actual volunteer fire service began in 1972 when he joined the Leesburg Volunteer Fire Company. Two years later, he transferred to Purcellville, where he held every operational office in the company throughout the next four decades.
Colby’s service was recognized by his induction into the Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Hall of Fame. He also won the 2019 John C. Carr Memorial Award and the Virginia Sons of the American Revolution Fire Safety Commendation in 2013.
In addition to firefighting, Colby had a life-long passion for motorcycles and was serving as the ride captain of the Red Knights, Virginia Chapter 12, Motorcycle Club at the time of his death.
His son, Trevor, also served as a volunteer in Purcellville and has since moved on to become a career firefighter with Loudoun County Fire and Rescue.
On Wednesday, Mayor Kwasi Fraser authorized staff to fly the flag in front of the town hall at half-staff until Aug. 21 to honor Colby “for his extraordinary length of devoted service and leadership in a mission-critical role that ensured the health, safety and welfare of our citizens,” according to a town statement.
A visitation will be held from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 20 at Cornerstone Chapel in Leesburg. His funeral service will be held the following day at 11 a.m. at the same location.
Memorial contributions may be made to The Colby Family Fund.