Richard Allen Colbert, 58, of Newark, Del., executive director of Tyler Arboretum in Media for 23 years, died Saturday, Nov. 29, of pancreatic cancer at his home. He had been diagnosed in 2012.

A native of Delaware who specialized in horticulture and business, Mr. Colbert became the first horticulturist for Newark in 1978, and developed a program to beautify the city's traffic islands using low-maintenance plants.

In 1991, he became the head of Tyler Arboretum. He helped make the arboretum a regional, family-oriented destination by expanding the educational outreach, increasing community programs, and upgrading the plant collections. He received many honors and awards for his work. In private life, he loved spending time at the beach with family.

Surviving are his wife of 36 years, Catherine Horney Colbert; daughters Erin Challburg and Kimberly Brady; two sisters; a brother; five granddaughters; and his father, Ralph.

A visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7, at the Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 121 W. Park Place, Newark, Del. A memorial service will follow at 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 8, at the First Presbyterian Church of Newark, 292 W. Main St. Burial is private.

Contributions may be made to the Tyler Arboretum, 515 Painter Rd., Media, Pa. 19063.

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