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Hyde Park - Colleen Flannery, Hyde Park, Utah and lately Knoxville, TN, returned to stardust from which she was created on October 26, 2013.
Twinkle in her parents' eyes in Europe, Colleen was conceived under a hot-tin-roof in Mississippi, born in Alabama on March 1, 1955 to peripatetic parents Kit and John Flannery. She spent most of 30 years in Utah; gradeschool in Park City when it was still a ghost town, 2 years in SanFran, and in 1973 was voted MostLikelyToDisagree by Logan High School, followed by USU degrees.
Then with backpack and boyfriend, off she went exploring Papua New Guinea and Australia. That was supposed to become her book, but life got in the way: a move to Virginia in a surplus schoolbus full of 'stuff' with a cat named Dog, Government jobs, marriage to Michael Dalton, and widowhood.
She burned the candle at both ends, double-booked, multi-tasked, with always much more on her dance card than was possible. Colleen was family mediator with her humor and patience, caring for her paternal nonagenarian Opa. For her 100 year old maternal grandmother, she created a laughing funeral in the Military's allotted 10 minutes. She and Jerry Caldwell were married under cherryblossoms at Jefferson Memorial. She 'caught' the family tree obsession from her mother. They visited, personally or virtually, shirt-tail cousins, 'our' 1632 tobacco plantation, triple-dunker churches, civil and revolutionary war archives, logging sites and eroding cemeteries in America, Luxembourg and Switzerland. She traced her Irish famine emigrants and added her name to the family gravestone in Baltimore.
Colleen and Kit traveled also to Istanbul, Thailand, Curacao and AngkorWat; and lastly Hilo for her 58th birthday to visit a nephew she'd mentored years ago.
Her favorite things: out-West/ red wine/ long tub-soaks/ John's dog, Kit's cats/ books/ parties/ nicknames/ crossword puzzles/ yoga/ travel/ her cowgirl boots!
Colleen was a consummate volunteer: for cancer funding, on tall-ships, aerial censusing wildlife in Kenya, co-designing National Park in India, humanitarian clowning for HIV-orphans in Romania with Patch Adams, and in eastern West Virginia, fostering/releasing 6 generations of blackbear cubs, whistlepigs, racketycoons and other road casualties. Rehabilitating was her after-retirement passion. She hoped to live out her last days in those remote Allegheny Mountains. It is where her remains will be.
Her life was not about length, but of depth and breadth. While beset by Dengue fever, EMFs, LymeDisease, it was rare cancer that shortened her life. She is survived by we friends and relatives, by husband Jerry and his family, expecially uber-cool granddaughter Ruby in Knoxville. Also surviving is mother Kit Flannery, Hyde Park, Utah and father John of Truth or Consequences, NM. And BFF Liz, boss Joel, cousins Samantha and Tristan. And her cancer support group. Create your own esoteric fare-thee-well. Toast our splendid diva with irish/ red wine/ breakfastbeer/ smoothie. Honor her memory by donating to or adopting from a pet shelter. Sing-along to her favorite, huge IZ and his tiny uke 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow'. Be glad we knew her.
Published in Logan Herald Journal from Oct. 27 to Oct. 29, 2013