Colette E. (Rigdon) Metzger, 84, of Stevensville, died Oct. 10, 2021, at Spectrum Health Lakeland Medical Center in St. Joseph, following a brief and courageous battle with lymphoma.
A celebration of life service will be held. Arrangements are still pending. Private burial will take place at a later date at Tivoli Cemetery in St. Clair, Minn.
Memorials in Colette's name can be made to Trinity Lutheran Church, 619 Main St., St. Joseph, MI 49085.
To sign Colette's online memory book, visit www.starks-menchinger.com.
Colette was born on Aug. 29, 1937 in Lake Prairie, Minn., to J. Kenneth and Helen C. Rigdon. She was the second oldest in a family of 12 children.
She lived most of her early life near St. Clair, Minn., and attended Tivoli Grade School in Minnesota. Colette graduated from St. Clair High School in 1955, and was salutatorian of her class.
Colette first was married in 1957, in Frankfurt, Germany. She later had three daughters: Julie, Lisa and Jayne (Erickson).
Colette later obtained her registered nurse degree from Southwestern Michigan College, and worked as a registered nurse at Lakeland's rehabilitation unit for many years.
She married Donald Metzger on June 12, 2005, in St. Joseph.
Colette was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Joseph, where she attended Bible study classes, and served her church with joy through baking and gardening. Colette was an expert gardener. She cherished a trip with her three daughters to Amsterdam, and the beautiful Keukenhof Gardens, in 2014. Colette treasured seeing bluebirds on her windowsill, bluebird feeders and bluebird houses.
Colette will be missed by her family for the large elaborate Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday meals she would prepare each year ... always an act of love; for the large garden she so lovingly attended; her additions and updates to the "family photo wall"; and for her frequent texts containing pictures with charming captions of her family. She often said she lived for the joy of receiving photos and videos of her family. She truly cherished them all.
Colette will be remembered for her big warm hugs, love for family, strong faith, caring and compassionate heart, sparkling eyes and beautiful smile, delicious cooking, love of polka dancing with her husband, Don, and stunning gardens. Most of all, she will be treasured for the unconditional love and thoughtfulness she showed to so many.
Colette is survived by her husband, Donald; her three daughters, Julie (Gerry) Suchanek of Hampton, Ill., Lisa (Michael) Reilly of Grandville, Mich., and Jayne (Rick) Toering of Waterford, Va.; three sisters, Judy (Ron) Dare of Grover Beach, Calif., Joyce (Patrick) Shain of North Mankato, Minn., and Ann Rigdon of Truth or Consequences, N.M.; four brothers, Charles (Arlene) Rigdon of Good Thunder, Minn., James Rigdon of Truth or Consequences, N.M.; Ron (Conni) Rigdon of Mapleton, Minn., and Dave (Sharman) Rigdon of Good Thunder, Minn.; seven grandchildren, Jerome (Susanna) Harms of Navarre, Fla., Kaitlin (Jordan) Brewer of Grandville, Mich., Ellen (Andrew) Moore of Grandville, Mich., Nathaniel Reilly of Royal Oak, Mich., Curran Reilly of New York City, Johanna Toering of Waterford, Va., and Jordan Toering of Athens, Ga.; four great-grandchildren, Alex, Emilia, Elliot and Evan; and four sisters-in-law, Joan Rigdon and Joanne Rigdon of Mankato, Minn., Sharon Rigdon of Coon Rapids, Minn.; and Kathy Rigdon of St. Peter, Minn.
Colette was preceded in death by her parents; and four younger brothers, Patrick, Robert, Bill and Michael Rigdon.