Cover photo for Alan H. Colen's Obituary

Alan H. Colen

January 29, 1939 — December 12, 2023

Overland Park, Kansas

Alan H. Colen

Surrounded by his family, Alan Hugh Colen (84) passed away peacefully at his home in Overland Park, Kansas on Dec. 12, 2023. Alan was born to Joseph and Elaine (Harrison) Colen on January 29th, 1939 in Brooklyn, New York.

He attended Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn, New York and was active in the Boy Scouts, ultimately achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. While he was a scout, he developed a passion for the outdoors, hiking, and camping that he pursued throughout his life.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York where he met his first wife, Hannah Elizabeth Hathaway. He earned his Ph. D. in Physical Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin, and while there he and Hannah had their first child, Claudia Anne Colen, and second child, Jonathan Daniel Colen.

He then moved his family to Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he worked for the Upjohn Company and taught chemistry at Kalamazoo College. It was during that time that he and Hannah had their third child, Jennifer Ruth Colen.

He then took a job at the Kansas City Veterans Administration Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri, where he did scientific research. He published multiple papers in several scientific journals, including the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of Physical Chemistry, and Nature.

He then met his second wife, Carolyn Hogan, whose sons Derek and Jason were in Boy Scout Troop 98, Prairie Village, where he was Scoutmaster.

After working for Veteran’s Administration, he worked in private industry developing color and imaging technology for the motion picture industry.

As he got older, he returned to his passion of teaching. He taught courses in chemistry, physics, and calculus at  Kansas City Kansas Community College, where he was a beloved professor whose students stayed in touch with him long after they graduated.

In addition to teaching, he was the Director of the forensic lab that analyzed samples for the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department.

He was an avid photographer, from film to digital. He combined this hobby with his passion for the outdoors, hiking, and camping. He was also an accomplished sailor and captained his sailboat in many a regatta.

He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Carolyn Doris Hogan, his children Claudia (Jeff) Thompson-Malarik of Cleveland, Ohio, Jonathan (Michelle) Colen of Jacksonville, Illinois,  Jennifer (Ron) Meyer of Derby, Kansas, Derek Hogan of Kansas City, Kansas, and Jason Hogan of Shawnee, Kansas and his grandchildren Matt, Sarah, Emily, Nate, Chloe, Hannah, Caleb, Danielle, and Kaela and his great-grandchildren Connor, Lucy, Kenny, and Alice.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date in Overland Park, Kansas.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Alan H. Colen, please visit our flower store.

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