Colleen Lynch Hartman Hops, after encountering complications from a broken hip, left this life to begin a new journey on April 14, 2009.
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She was born Dec. 28, 1908, in Idaho Falls, Idaho, to Carrie Lynch and Adam A. Hartman.
Colleen celebrated her 100th birthday with many family members and friends from out of town late last fall in Bozeman, Montana, where she resided for the past three years.
Colleen was the most selfless, giving and loving mother that anyone could ever have. She lightened the lives and hearts of those who crossed her path and her upbeat attitude and great sense of humor engaged even the most sullen. It was her style to talk about you rather than herself. She embraced nature with every blade of grass, rock, leaf, flower and her favorites, all the wild birds.
After losing her eyesight many years ago, she continued enthusiastically to see through the eyes of others. We could always call upon Mom's vast knowledge of birds to help us identify any species we encountered along the road.
Colleen was preceded in death by her husband, Harry (Tobe) L. Hops; her two sisters, Lois Wackerli and Zella Hansen; and a brother, Owen. She is survived by her son Larry W. Hops (Collette) and her daughter Tobie Cate (Bob).
Mother's sweet perky little self will be missed by her family and all the others who hold her dear in their hearts. Like a bottle of fine wine, Mother aged well.
Our family would like to express their deepest gratitude to some of the special people where were part of Mother's life. In Idaho: Thanks to Beth Brown, our dear family friend and caregiver to Mother for 25 years. Beth, you will always hold a special place in our family and we will be eternally grateful for your kind and tender care of Mom for all those years.
In Bozeman: Our deepest gratitude to the Rocky Mountain Hospice Staff, especially Sharon Tholt. Your care and dedication to Mother and our family was unparalleled. Dr. Collette Kirchhoff, we are grateful for your understanding and support of Mother's wishes and encouraging us to bring her home to a warm loving environment surrounded by her family in her last hours. And the entire Highgate Senior Living staff and Colleen's many friends, we thank you for taking such good care of our Mother and making her feel so at home and content. Mother loved her conversations with those of you who visited her so often.
For those who may want to watch for Colleen, look for the sandhill cranes that were there in the early morning after she fell and returned the night she left her family.
A memorial service will be held 2 p.m., Sunday, April 19, at Highgate Senior Living in Bozeman. A graveside memorial service will be held 2 p.m., Tuesday, April 21, at Rose Hills Cemetery in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Condolences and memories may be shared at www.dahlcares.com.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Apr. 19, 2009