Archie Coll, Jr. died peacefully at his home, Coll’s Farm in Jaffrey, while surrounded by his loving family on January 4, 2019 after a brief illness. He was born on his parent’s farm, Coll’s Poultry Farm, in Jaffrey on January 24, 1938. His parents were Archie Coll, Sr and Eva M. (Sirois) Coll, and he graduated from Conant High School in Jaffrey in 1956. He married the love of his life, Helen, on May 3, 1958.
Archie was a lifelong farmer, an entrepreneur and innovative businessman. His farm operations included at one time over 100,000 laying hens. This included working with Amish farmers in New Holland, PA and operating a farm in Weedsport, NY. He packed and distributed eggs to Bread & Circus stores and other natural and organic markets up and down the Eastern Seaboard. He was the first to develop production of organic eggs in NH. Archie’s vegetable operation began in 1962 with 50 acres in production. He grew approximately 30 acres of Sweet Corn and the rest in other vegetables all of which were sold at Coll’s Farm Stand where many local young people began their work experience. In some cases, all the children from a family worked on the farm. He also had greenhouses for starting plants. Growing strawberries in towers was a favorite crop of his.
In his younger years Archie was active in 4-H and the Chicken of Tomorrow contest. He was a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation for 54 years, serving in multiple capacities from local and county to national levels. Archie served on the board, as vice president and 2 terms as president of the United Cooperative Farmers in Fitchburg, MA. He was also on the Cheshire County Farm Credit Service board for several years. Archie was a member of the Town of Jaffrey’s Planning Board for 7 years.
Archie was a 60-year member of the United Church of Jaffrey and continued through the years actively working in many capacities, especially as a Trustee. He was an active volunteer in the Jaffrey Food Pantry and devoted to serving those in need of wholesome food. He was also a driver for Meals on Wheels and a Red Cross driver. He divided his year between Jaffrey and Florida where he volunteered at ECHO; ‘Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization’ for the past 15 years.
Archie was predeceased by his parents and by his brothers, Richard J. Coll and Philip W. Coll.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Helen (VanBlarcom) Coll and their 4 children; Suzanne LeBlanc(Ray), Mark Coll (Lori), Peggy Despres (Paul), and David Coll (Liz). He was also “Dad” to 2 exchange students, Rafael Mujica and Ileana Wong Quiyono. He is also survived by his 11 grandchildren: Ryan LeBlanc (Jenn), Reuben LeBlanc (Cathrine), Lyndsey Vaillancourt (Gerry), Whitney Marquis (Daniel), Jordan Mattila (Courtney), Lauren Arel (Corey), Joshua Coll (Krystal), Benjamin Coll (Keri), Isaac Despres (Maneeya), Emily Stauffeneker (Trevor), and Remington Raitto; and by 12 great grandchildren; his sister, Betty J. (Coll) Royce and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
At Archie’s request, there will be no calling hours. A Celebration of Life Service and reception will be held on Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 1:00 pm in the United Church of Jaffrey, 54 Main Street, Jaffrey.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the Solar Panel Fund at the United Church of Jaffrey, 54 Main Street, Jaffrey, NH 03452.