Colleen McDonald, our beloved Auntie, sister and daughter, died in the early morning hours of Jan. 19 after a short and fierce battle with cancer.
Colleen was a traveller, businesswoman, vibrant soul and, above all, a passionate and caring aunt. She is gone far too soon, but her family takes solace in the fact that Colleen spent her 52 years living life to the fullest with the people who meant most to her.
Born Aug. 9, 1959, to Mona and Bob McDonald, Colleen grew up in Merritt, B.C. In her 20s she worked with troubled youth and travelled in Australia. She then moved to Vernon and onto what would become a successful career as a travel agent. As co-owner of Visions Travel, Colleen helped people live their dreams. She travelled much herself — to Tunisia, Turkey, Vietnam and many other places — but was happiest when spending time with family.
Her love was infinite. She was more than an an aunt to her nephews and her niece; she was a third parent, personal assistant, best friend and biggest fan. Her love was matched only by her energy.
It was with her closest family that Colleen spent her final days. In her final hours, she looked at her family and remarked, “They are so beautiful.”
Colleen has left us, but her legacy will live on for generations to come. Colleen will be remembered by her mother, Mona, her sisters, Bobbi and Julie, her nephews, Phillip, Tyler and Mark, and her niece, Alexa. She will be missed by dozens of close friends, clients and colleagues.
Colleen impacted hundreds of lives. But her greatest gift will be the example she set for those closest to her. In her life she demonstrated a capacity for devotion and affection that we will aim for, but which we know we can never match.
A service will be held today, Jan. 22, at 1 p.m. at Pleasant Valley Funeral Home, 4303 Pleasant Valley Rd., Vernon. B.C. In lieu of flowers, well-wishers may make a donation to the North Okanagan Hospice Society.