He was praised for his work, his philanthropy and his education advocacy. Judge Carl Colloms will officially hang up his robe as child support master today.
The Charleston native began his professional career in law in September 1966.
On hand Thursday afternoon at the Bradley County Courthouse for a small retirement ceremony were family and colleagues of the celebrated judge.
“He earned his retirement,” said Assistant Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court Sharon Lee.
Colloms served the community as an attorney, a Bradley County government leader, a developer of neighborhoods and health care facilities through partnerships and business ventures, and continues to be an advocate of education and the study of law.
According to Lee, Colloms has heard more than 60,000 cases during his tenure as the child support master — or referee.
She said he had a “calm judicial temperament.”
State Rep. Eric Watson, R-Cleveland representing the 22nd Legislative District, and state Sen. Mike Bell, R-Riceville representing the 9th Senatorial District, presented Colloms with proclamations from the House, Senate and the governor’s office.
Colloms graduated from Charleston High School in 1960 after attending Arnold and Charleston Elementary schools. He went to Tennessee Wesleyan College and earned a bachelor of arts degree, then to the University of Tennessee where he received his doctor of jurisprudence.
Colloms practiced law in his private business and then became the Bradley County attorney in 1969. In 1974, Colloms was elected Bradley County judge, a position that pre-dated what is now recognized as county executive.
Colloms then became the 10th Judicial District Child Support Master in 1988.
During his career, he continued to give back to his schools.
Colloms gifted a $1 million scholarship to the U.T. College of Law and committed $500,000 from his estate to Tennessee Wesleyan College in Athens.
In a quote to the Daily Post Athenian, Colloms said, “My church’s Sunday school lesson a couple of weeks ago was about leaving a legacy and I want to leave a decent one. Tennessee Wesleyan is heading in an amazing direction and I wanted to be a part of that.”
Judge Amy Reed said Bradley County had been blessed with a “generous man.”
Colloms said during his busy career, he has not had the opportunity to experience a lot of things outside of his job.
“I am hoping there are a lot of good things out there to experience that we haven’t got to experience due to such a busy schedule,” Colloms said.
Colloms has maintained a small beef cattle farm, is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and a member of the Charleston-Calhoun-Hiwassee Historical Society.
He is a member of the First Baptist Church where he serves as chairman of the deacons, church trustee and treasurer. Colloms was also a member of the Cleveland Jaycees and a trustee of Bradley Memorial Hospital.