Barbara Hobart Colgate, 90, who tutored elementary schoolchildren in Southeast Washington and welcomed hundreds of foreign college students to the Washington area, died of respiratory failure Aug. 29 at Manor Care in Potomac. She lived in the District.
Mrs. Colgate volunteered as a reading tutor for students at Martin Luther King Elementary High School in Southeast as part of a tutoring program sponsored by Smith College alumni. Her last visit to the school was in June.
She also was active until her death on the board of the International Student House, a residence for students, scholars, interns and researchers from about 30 countries. She was head of the hospitality committee and would often hold welcoming parties and holiday events for the students. She would make sure that each received a gift on holidays and often invited them to her home.
Mrs. Colgate was born in Chicago and grew up in Winnetka, Ill. She studied for a year at a finishing school in Lausanne, Switzerland, before going to college. In 1937, she graduated from Smith College in Massachusetts.
During the early days of World War II, she drove an ambulance for the Red Cross in Chicago. She married in 1942, and after the war, she moved with her husband to Cambridge, Mass., while he spent a year at Harvard University. In 1950, they moved to Bethesda.
Her husband's assignments with the CIA took her to West Berlin for two years, from 1957 to 1959, and then back to Bethesda. She also lived for a year in Seattle when her husband was with the Commerce Department.
Mrs. Colgate moved to the District in 1992.
She was a member of the Episcopal Church and attended St. John's at Lafayette Square. She also donated to the building of Washington National Cathedral.
She was a member of the New Scotland Gardening Club and the Sulgate Club.
She and her husband owned a second home in Western Maryland, where they were instrumental in the founding of the Friends' Creek Anglers Association, which had its headquarters at their Friends' Creek Farm. "She entertained thousands of people there over the years. She always had something going on there with a big crowd," said her daughter, Susan Colgate Goldman of Newton, Mass.
She loved to play tennis and was a member of the Edgemore Tennis Club in Bethesda. She enjoyed skiing and was a member of the Snow Chase Club. She traveled with the club members throughout the world to ski.
For many years, she was a volunteer docent at the National Gallery of Art, leading tours for children.
Mrs. Colgate was a patron of the arts, and she was fluent in French and German. For many decades, she was a member of a French club called Les Grenouilles, which met once a week for French conversation and to discuss French literature. She also was a member of a play-reading group. She was a longtime leader of the local chapter of the World Federalist Association.
Her husband of 47 years, Craig Colgate Jr., died in 1989.
In addition to her daughter, survivors include two sons, Robert Colgate of Jaffrey, N.H., and Craig Colgate III of Windsor, Vt.; six grandchildren; a great-granddaughter; and a brother.