In memory of
Judge William G. McCollom Washington, D.C. —Judge William G. McCollom passed away at age 80 on Sept. 6, 2016 in Maryland from complications of a stroke. He was born July 28, 1936 on a farm near Malta, Montana to Felix and Emma Bell McCollom. After becoming an Eagle Scout at age 14, he attended Boy Scout jamborees in Valley Forge, PA and in Austria. While attending Malta public schools Bill played violin in a string orchestra under Rolf Johnson and flute in band under Mike Roberty - two of the finest public school music teachers in the state. After winning the Montana American Legion Oratory Contest and attending Boys State, he graduated as salutatorian of Malta High School Class of 1954. Awarded a full scholarship to Harvard University, Bill was invited to join two of its oldest and most prestigious social clubs: the Hasty Pudding Institute (1770) and the A.D. Club (1836), graduating with an AB in philosophy in 1958. His first book of poetry, "The Ash Burning Rite" was published by Penguin Press soon afterwards. After service as a Marine Corp officer during the Vietnam war era, McCollom earned a law degree from the University of Virginia, an M.LL in taxation from Georgetown University; and clerked at the U.S. Tax Court in Washington, D.C. He subsequently worked for legal firms in New York City, St. Louis and San Francisco, eventually establishing his own municipal finance company. In 1994 McCollom was appointed a federal administrative law judge for the Social Security Administration and taught administrative law courses for the agency all over the country. He retired to Washington, D.C. in 2008. A serious student of history, Bill loved visiting battlefields and sites of historic significance. An avid reader and researcher, he was surprised to learn that, beginning in the 11th century, the men of his family were knights for 13 straight generations. One tutored both Princess Mary and Princess Elizabeth as children; when Elizabeth I became Queen of England, she insisted he and his entire family leave their ancestral castle (which still exists) and move into the royal palace to help her administer the realm. The first male in the family to reach America sailed to Jamestown, Virginia in 1610, a decade before the Mayflower arrived. Two were recorded living in Massachusetts in 1636, and another, appointed by King Charles I to govern Virginia in the 1630s, was greatly disliked by his subjects because he strutted around in finery while they were near starvation. Recently Bill had learned that his family tree extended even farther back - to a son of Charlemagne - in the year 848. Whether researching and authoring legal publications, novels or poetry, he continued writing throughout his life. For 41 years Bill was married to Carolyn Lee Copp, a former child movie actress who made films with Hollywood stars such as Bing Crosby and Jack Benny. The couple enjoyed riding to hounds, antique collecting and the arts. She died in 2010. Bill is survived by one brother and two sisters: Bob McCollom of Gold Creek, MT; Margie (Ralph) Winkler of Alameda, CA; and Marlene (Wes) Anderson of Seattle, WA; plus numerous nieces and nephews. An interment service with full military honors will be held at Arlington National Cemetery on a date to be announced.
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