COLEMAN, Colleen Ruth
May 20, 1954 to August 18, 2002
Passed away peacefully at Bella Coola hospital, after a 2 year battle with cancer. Her daughter Sarah, and Sarah’s aunt Marjolein Cleijsen were by her side.
Colleen was born in Bella Coola, where she spent her early years, before moving to Langley with her family. She married her first husband, Helmut Cleijsen, and moved briefly to Alberta, before living for a time in the Kootenays. Moving to Vancouver Island, she trained as a chef at Malaspina College, and spent several years working at Trillium Lodge, before marrying Peter Coleman. Returning to Malaspina College, and then the University of Victoria, she achieved an honours degree in Fine Arts. Moving back to Bella Coola, she worked as the town’s outreach worker, and enjoyed fishing and horseback riding until her illness made this too difficult. During this time she was able to reconnect to her mother’s native heritage. She made many friends wherever she lived and worked. She loved painting, photography, gardening, and the outdoors, and always transformed her surroundings into something beautiful. Colleen is survived by her daughter Sarah Cleijsen of Hagensborg; stepchildren Maggie Coleman of Victoria, Matthew Coleman of Port Alberni; brothers Dan and Don Crowe of Langley, BC; aunts, uncles and cousins, and by her partner, Fred Dorsey of Hagensborg.
A Memorial Service was held in Bella Coola on August 24th, with a Spirit Dance
and feast held at the Nuxalk Hall.
Cremation was followed by burial alongside Colleen’s mother, at the family plot