Early in the morning of Sunday, June 10, I lost a dear friend in a terrible Brookfield fire.

Her name was SueEllen Colby. Her father was an Army Ranger. She said that the only time she saw him cry was on the day she graduated from medical school as an ophthalmologist — first in her class. Understandably, he was so filled with pride. 

She had an IQ of 157, could read a book in the time it took for someone to sneeze and retained it all. She had a small, frail body and had been beset by medical issues for over two decades. Her health problems caused her to give up her medical practice. She was a repository of medical knowledge that I cannot begin to comprehend.

I work with veterans on medical claims. I called her almost every week for her perspective on some vet’s problems. After 20 years since practicing medicine, she would unhesitatingly spew more information than I could keep up with. Almost never were the questions about her specialty. The veterans in this area have unknowingly lost a very good friend. 

Her health necessitated frequent doctors’ visits. For every visit, she would bring “treats” for the office receptionist and office workers. She also made earrings out of semiprecious stones and would give the lovely earrings to them.

Years ago, she had volunteered to go to India for a month and spent that month doing eye surgery for the poor. She was always thoughtful and considerate of the people around her and would often go out of her way to help in any way she could.

Today, I wanted to share a little background on what an amazing person we lost when we lost Dr. Colby on Sunday, June10.

Paul Szachnitowski