Barbara H. Collis
Collis , Barbara H.
11/07/1924 - 12/02/2021
Barbara Henshaw Collis passed away peacefully on Thursday, December 2, 2021 at Casa Primavera in Spring Valley at the age of 97.
She was born November 7, 1924, in Barre, Vermont to the late Walter and Clara Henshaw. She married Leonard Stuart Collis on April 12, 1945, in Springfield, Massachusetts. They relocated with their 3 children to La Mesa, California, in 1961. In addition to being a loving wife and mother, Barbara worked as an accountant. She lived in the area for the remainder of her life.
(br/>Barbara had a heart for helping others not only in her professional life but throughout every part of her life. Upon her arrival to La Mesa, Barbara served the community with passion and selflessness from the start. She was a long-time advocate for human rights, informed voting, and building a strong community college system. Barbara co-founded the Heartland Human Relations Association, initiated and negotiated a youth service and outreach program, served on the United Way Priority Setting Task Force, and served on the Human Resource Agency Advisory Board. She was active in League of Women’s Voters her entire adult life.
(br/>In 1977, she earned an Accounting Degree at Grossmont College and faithfully attended college board meetings to advocate for keeping education affordable and to ensure that a teaching atmosphere of support and high morale was maintained. She was later elected to serve on that board where she applied her budgeting and people skills for three terms. In 1991, she received the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Chancellor’s Alumni Recognition Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement and Community Service.
(br/>She is survived by her children, Marsha Shea of Lemon Grove, Debbie Metcalf and husband, Mike, of Greenville, NC, and David Collis and wife Lillie of Santa Rosa; grandchildren Kathryn DeStefano, Stuart Shea, Allison Woodard and husband Sean, Lindsey Lee and husband Ian, John Metcalf, Erin Griffin and husband Jason, Laura Collis, and Marla Collis; and great-grandchildren Aiden DeStefano, Devin DeStefano, Sofia DeStefano, Ethan Woodard, Henry Lee, Adelaide Lee, Dash Metcalf, Olen Lee, Payton Griffin, Ella Griffin, and Jase Griffin.
(br/> Barbara also shared her gifts of service, leadership, budgeting, and altruism through her church memberships. Most recently, she was an active member of Foothills Methodist Church in La Mesa. The family would like to thank all her friends from Foothills Methodist Church who wrapped around her so lovingly – especially in these latter years. We also deeply appreciate the love and care she received at Casa Primavera during her final months.
(br/> Memorials can be sent to Foothills Methodist Church , the Alzheimer’s Association or to a charity of your choice. A celebration of Barbara’s life will be held at her church at a later date.
Published by San Diego Union-Tribune on Dec. 8, 2021.
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My sincere condolences to Barbara's family. I haven't seen her in decades but did know her socially decades ago when I taught at Grossmont College and she a Board Member. I also recall that she was active in politics, and like me, somewhat liberal. She was dedicated to making her community a better place, and so she did.
Tom Scanlan
December 8, 2021
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