Surrounded by her family and close friends, Mom/Nana/Grandma/Granny/GG passed away with incredible courage, dignity and a sense of humor. She was predeceased by her loving husband, Norm, in 2013 after 53 years of marriage. She is survived by her four children: Norm Jr. (Berva), Wendy Cook (Shaun), Linda Berger (Joe), Jodi Merckx (Axel), 10 grandchildren: Courtney, Kelsey, Cody, Dylan, Ryan, Sydney, Tyson, Axana, Athina, Taylor (predeceased) and three great grandchildren Jakoby, Cash, Coen, her sister Charlleen Bolton, and many nieces and nephews.
Mom was first diagnosed with breast cancer at age 51 and seven years later she faced a new battle, a new cancer. Unfortunately, 2 years ago her breast cancer returned and she was given a terminal diagnosis of stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. Days before she passed she was asked what advice she would give other breast cancer survivors. “I would tell them to take it seriously and get checked on a regular basis because it can come back years later, even if you’ve had a mastectomy.”
Mom was very passionate about raising awareness and fundraising for cancer and causes she believed in. She spent many years racing on the Bust’n Loose dragon boat team, being president and raising money to purchase their own boat, gear and compete internationally to bring awareness to breast cancer. Mom thrived on community work and was always fundraising for something. The BC Cancer Foundation said she was an ambassador bringing awareness and raising over a quarter of a million dollars.
Mom touched many people’s lives. She had the energy of someone much younger and believed there were no limits to what she could accomplish. She has bungee jumped in Switzerland, ridden a donkey down the Grand Canyon, walked across England and embarked on a year long journey with Dad travelling around the world. For Mom life was an adventure and she lived it to the fullest, wasting no time and never looking back.
Known for her delicious apple pies, Mom taught all her children and grandchildren the family recipe. Pie making became an annual event and a favorite family dinner dessert year-round. She was talented in the kitchen and welcomed anyone to her home and would throw together a meal with whatever was in her fridge.
In lieu of flowers, we know Mom would have preferred a donation to BC Cancer Foundation in her memory, 399 Royal Avenue, Kelowna BC, V1Y 5L3. This will be her final fundraising event. In Mom’s style, she planned her own celebration of life which will be held at Laurel Packinghouse. Please join us for drinks and appetizers at “Colleen’s Happy Hour” on June 27, 2017 from 4-7 pm (a short program begins at 5:00 pm).
If you wish to send a condolence, post photos or share a memory, please scroll down the page to the area called “Share Your Condolences.”
Service: June 27, 2017 from 4-6 pm
Location: Laurel Packinghouse
The service for CROSS, Colleen Frances is scheduled for June 27, 2017 from 4-6 pm. Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.