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Colleen Elizabeth Vollan (Forster)

April 26, 2023

November 4, 1942 - April 26, 2023
In loving memory ~
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand... And may the hand of a friend always be near.

Our bright light of kindness, love and joy, Colleen Elizabeth Vollan (Forster), passed peacefully on April 26th, surrounded by family and friends. Her biggest concern, right up to the end, was looking after the rest of us, with birthdays, graduations and so many life events always just around the corner.
In a white-out snowstorm on Boxing Day, 1975, packed on the single bench seat of an old pickup truck, Colleen and her family moved from Edmonton to Vernon. Forty-eight years later, Colleen's legacy and contributions to this city and region are countless.
Maynard Vollan designed and built the Vernon Lodge (Courtyard) Hotel in 1974 and in the years following, Colleen took on every role imaginable at the Lodge. Starting as the original plant lady (there are a LOT of tropical plants and trees in the courtyard) to acting as Den Mother for the entire team at the Lodge, she was a never-ending whirlwind of energy and brought us all along for the ride.
As a Director for the Winter Carnival for many years, she brought together volunteers and the Lodge team to bring incredible fun and energy to the Carnival events. The costumes, the decorations, and the balloons. Always, always, balloons, flowers and joyful, crazy costumes!
Colleen was honoured as Vernon's Women of the Year and received the Canada 125 medal in 1992. She was an active member of Vernon Women in Business and a Director of the Vernon and District Chamber of Commerce and volunteered for the B.C. Festival of the Arts (1992) and served as a Director of the Vernon Public Art Gallery. In 2067, a 1992 time capsule featuring "a day in the life of Colleen Vollan" will be opened to tell a bit of her story, 75 years on.
Colleen took on many other volunteer roles within the community and with her casual kindness she sought endlessly to support others.
A constant entrepreneur, Colleen ran Flowers with Flair with her friend Gail, bringing more joy to events and gatherings in Vernon. She also played host to innumerable visitors at her homes on Silver Star Mountain and other guest homes she took on as yet another thriving business venture.
Colleen built a family of friends in every venture and adventure she took on. In over 17 years of volunteering as a Silver Star Mountain host, she become an integral member and friend of the mountain community, with those friendships extending around the world.
Recognized by The Parkinson Society of British Columbia with the Above and Beyond Award, Colleen worked fiercely to raise funds to find a cure for Parkinson's. When, after a short sprint, she was unable to walk the full course at her final fundraising walk last fall, she happily sat in her red racer wagon as her cohort pulled her along to the rhythm of her selected theme song of the year.
Colleen knew a cure would not come in time for her, but she was determined to be a part of finding one for others. And as she wrote, when Parkinson's proved to be the only thing to ever slow her down, This is not the person you see, the real me is inside of ME.
Colleen lost her son, Kevin, and the father of her children, Maynard, this past year. She is remembered in spirit and in her endless joy, humour and boundless kindness by son Christopher Vollan, daughter Heather Martens, son-in-law Clint, granddaughters Odessa, Summer, Skye, daughter-in-law Janis and loving siblings Sharon, Rendy, Marda and David, their families and her many, many friends in Vernon, Edmonton and around the world.
Chris and Heather would like to thank family, friends and particularly Colleen's caregivers; Consuelo, Fatima, Ashley, granddaughter Odessa and dear, dear friend Kerry who have been so lovingly by Colleen's side these last months and years. And thank you to Carole, Cori, Drs. Takahashi, Long, Redelinghuys, Hwang, Spooner, the entire North Okanagan Hospice and The Victorian teams who all treated mom with outstanding care and dignity. We are certain Colleen touched your heart and made you smile.
Colleen's wishes are to have a Celebration of Life (a party, with balloons!) when the sun is warm on our faces. Date and details to follow.
In Colleen's memory, donations to the Parkinson's Society of British Columbia are welcomed.
To the moon and back Mom!

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