Joseph Riley McColgan

July 5, 1994July 3, 2018

Joseph (Joe) Riley McColgan was called home to heaven and is looking down upon his many loving family, extended family and friends. Joe leaves behind his loving family, Karen Jenkins McColgan (mother), Mark William McColgan (father), Jonathan Mark McColgan (brother) , Patrick Thomas McColgan (brother) and Joe Cecil Jenkins (grandfather) as well as loving cousins, aunts and uncles. Joe lived a life of faith. Joe was initially baptized and confirmed at Bethany United Methodist Church. He attended worship services and recovery meetings at Gateway Church. Joe was recently re-baptized at Celebration Church while he was in a recovery program. Joe spent many hours over the course of years with the Reverend Eric Gates, Pastor of Central Christian Church in Austin. Eric supported Joe’s recovery and spiritual journey, strengthening Joe’s faith and recovery skills. When Joe recently called to thank us for the lamp we bought him for his nightstand, he explained how it was so important in helping him read his bible in the evening and quoted some verses he was currently reading and explained how they applied to him.

Joe was full of life and love. That life and love shined through his frequent smile and blue eyes. He had a heart as big as an ocean and made friends with anyone and everyone without an ounce judgment nor prejudice. He looked out for others and demonstrated empathy and compassion to those he met, even those he didn’t know. He participated in a mission trip to El Salvador to build a community hospital and help at an impoverished orphanage. Joe initiated and assembled and distributed ‘bags of grace’ with food and other needs for the homeless. Joe proposed that our church do the same (and they do). He would reach out to those in need and do whatever he could to care for them. Joe would ask us to stop at intersections, so he could give a homeless person his last dollar. When he lost a winter jacket and saw someone he knew wearing it who must have found it, without hesitation he stated that the other person needed it more than him and that he should keep it.

Joe enjoyed many things, but particularly enjoyed mountain biking, boating, knee boarding, hiking, playing spades and ‘chillin’ or doing anything with family and friends. He tremendously enjoyed a wide range of music and played several instruments he was talented with, including piano and guitar. Joe also had a passion for cars. He loved car shows, spotting and pointing out Ferrari’s and Lotus cars on the road. Joe loved the outdoors and nature. Joe also had a passion for animals, particularly dogs. He loved the family dogs at home while growing up and volunteered at the Austin Pets Alive to care for homeless dogs. Joe enjoyed spending time with his immediate and extended families. Joe always loved getting hugs and expressions of love from his Mom and Dad.

Joe was a fighter. He struggled with serious life challenges with mental health and addiction, but he never, ever gave up trying different approaches to survive and thrive. He was open to trying anything. He fought for healing and life with all the strength and conviction he had. There were very few avenues to healing that Joe didn’t pursue. Joe knew that there were many family members, professionals, friends and God who were fully supporting and loving him in his fight and he was very grateful to everyone for that support.

If you have any fond memories you’d like to share with others, please email them to or leave comments on the web site at

Joe’s Life Celebration Pictures

Click on the link at bottom of the page for celebratory pics from Joe’s life. You may scroll through them and enlarge any by clicking on them, or you can click on the 3 vertical dots at the upper right of the web page at below and select ‘Slideshow’.

Scripture Messages Selected by Joe’s family

John 14. 1-4 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You Know the way to the place where I am going."

Romans 7:15-24 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

2 Timothy 4 6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

John 11 21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”. 24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

In lieu of flowers, please donate to mental health and recovery organizations of your choice in Joe’s memory. Mental illness and addictions are serious diseases which need to be recognized and treated as such. They are not failures of character nor will. Many millions of people are touched by these diseases either directly or indirectly. You can honor Joseph by being part of someone else’s recovery. Give your time, goods, caring, political support or money to help save lives. Below are just a couple for you to consider for donations, but there are many others which can be found on the web. This world greatly needs everyone’s help to help cure mental illness and reverse the astronomical growth of the addiction epidemic around the world.


  • Karen Jenkins McColgan, Mother
  • Mark Willliam McColgan, Father
  • Jonathan Mark McColgan, Brother
  • Patrick Thomas McColgan, Brother
  • Joe Cecil Jenkins, Grandfather
  • Joe also leaves many loving cousins, aunts and uncles to cherish his memory.


  • Visitation Saturday, July 7, 2018
  • Memorial Service Saturday, July 7, 2018

Joseph Riley McColgan

have a memory or condolence to add?

Avery Simmons

September 1, 2018

Joe filled my heart up every time I saw him. And I know I'm late. Seeing someone so full of joy and life be gone was hard. I think about him regularly and I know I wasnt close to him but he really was amazing and helped me when I was around. I'll always think of you watching over my shoulder joe.

Savanna Paulsen

July 19, 2018

To the McColgan Family,
I wish you all love and light through this difficult time and offer my sincerest condolenscense to you and everyone blessed to know him. We began our friendship learning the unique instrument the Bassoon together, and had many adventures throughout middle and highschool. Joe had one of the most infectious smiles around, always lending an ear to a friend in need and offering a smile to lighten the day. May his fight raise awareness towards a larger cause and may we always care for others with love and without judgement, as Joe did.

Savanna Paulsen