Akkerman-Ingebrand • Mora, MN

Rock-Ingebrand • Braham, MN

Mora, MN • 320-679-1933

Braham, MN • 320-396-2121



Colleen Sullivan, of Mora, MN passed away on Monday, January 3, 2022 at North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale.  She was 68 years old.

MEMORIAL SERVICE will be held at 1:00 pm on Saturday, January 15, 2022 at the St. Kathryn’s Catholic Church in Ogilvie. Fr. Derek Wiechmann will officiate.


MEMORIAL VISITATION will be held from 4:00-6:00 pm on Friday, January 14th at the Akkerman Ingebrand Funeral Home in Mora and again 1 hour prior to the service at church, beginning at 12:00 noon.

INURNMENT will be held at a later date in the Calvary Cemetery in Madelia, Minnesota.

Colleen Ann Sullivan, of Mora, MN unexpectedly passed away on January 3, 2022, leaving behind a large community of family and friends. She was 68 years old.

Colleen was born July 17, 1953, to Jerry and Vera Sullivan in Madelia, Minnesota. She grew up in Madelia, as well as in the Minnesota state park system, of which her father was a park manager. She went to high school in Forest Lake. She went to college at Bemidji State to study for her life’s work as a kindergarten teacher. And what a teacher she was, to provide a lesson about the letter “T” she would dress up in striped overalls and engineer’s hat with the letter “T” hidden on her clothing. After having a child learn with Colleen, parents often requested her as a teacher for their next child.

Colleen was proud of her Irish heritage, working the Irish Fair in St. Paul every year. She was also an ardent reader. This included her interest and involvement in the Betsy-Tacy Society. Betsy-Tacy books are children’s books based in Mankato, MN and reminded Colleen of much of her childhood. She participated in many facets of the society including exchanging Christmas Ornaments, volunteering at several conventions, and her gift of gab made her ideal as an impromptu tour guide at the Betsy-Tacy sites in Mankato.

Colleen was a dedicated member of the Ogilvie Catholic church, St. Kathryn’s. She was involved with her community and was proud of all the students she taught in her 40ish years of working as a teacher. She was also a committee member to organize the Sullivan/Hale family reunion. At these reunions she was in her element; talking, organizing and loving every family member who showed up.

Colleen was preceded in death by her father Jerry and sister Ann. She is survived by her mother Vera; sons, Reece (Mikie) and Brendon (Jesslayn); her three grandchildren, Kiwa, Kai, and Teagan; her brother Mike (Judy) and sisters, Jean (Ron) and Patty Jo (Ken); as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. She was especially supported by a tight circle of dear friends and cousins.

43 thoughts on “COLLEEN SULLIVAN”

  1. Irish Blessing

    May the roads rise up to meet you,
    May the wind be always at your back,
    May the sun shine warm upon your face,
    May the rains fall soft upon fields
    And until we meet again
    May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

    My lovely friend, I will think of you often and remember the laughs and tears we have shared.

  2. I will miss Colleen terribly. I so enjoyed our talks on the veranda, book discussions and St. Patrick’s Day celebrations! Rest In Peace my dear. I feel blessed to call you my friend. Robyn

  3. Although we weren’t close in recent years, I will forever remember your resilience, humor, sassiness, & your independent spirit. You taught my children and they loved you as I did. Peace and comfort are yours now. You will be missed!

  4. Our deepest sympathy to all of Colleen’s family. She had a loving heart and an infectious smile. Our prayers are with you as you cherish the memories of her beautiful life.
    Richard & Julie Kunz

  5. I’m so sad to see this. She was one of my favorite teachers and a wonderful friend to my family. Keeping the family in mind.

  6. Please accept my prayers and sympathies for you and your families. Colleen was an amazing teacher who taught kindergarten to both our sons, Seth Gehrke and Aaron Gehrke. She was a thoughtful, out-of-the-box teacher with whom they thrived. I loved her spirit and creativity. I’m so sorry.

  7. Dear Sullivans, I was so sorry to hear this. Colleen was a good lady. I remember when she was born. Pleas know you’re in my prayers.

  8. New Year’s Eve parties, St. Patrick’s Day, Wood Tick Festivals, 4th of July celebrations, giggles and tears and a glass of wine on a warm summers night. Here’s to you my dear friend.

  9. Oh, my dear Colleen, your classmates are missing you so much already. You were a beautiful light in your students’ lives, as well as mine. When your sister left this world so young, you managed to move on with pluck and resilience. Who could resist your warm smile or infectious laughter? None of us. We were blessed to have been your friends and will slow our steps as your spirit lingers now. Rise I up, dear girl, in freedom. We’ll be there soon. Judi Schroeder Mosby and the Forest Lake Class of 1971

  10. To Colleen’s Family…we are so sorry for your loss! Colleen was a wonderful person and an amazing teacher who loved her profession and cared for her students! It was an honor to call her colleague and friend! Our thoughts and prayers are with you all as you grieve her loss and celebrate her life! Galen and Mary

  11. Vera, Reece, Brendon, Mike, Jean, Patty Jo
    To know Colleen was to know she loved her family.
    My thoughts and prayers are with each of you.
    Colleen value for friendship has blessed my life for 34 years. Peace and love to my dear friend.

  12. Sending warmest condolences to Colleen Ann’s family. I knew Colleen only online through our mutual membership in the Betsy-Tacy email List and I will miss her presence there very much.
    Nancy Downing in AZ

  13. We feel blessed to have known and been related to Colleen, daughter of Joe’s cousin, Jerry & Vera Sullivan. She was always so welcoming to us when we travelled to Minnesota to attend the Hale, Sullivan, McGinn reunions. Thoughts and prayers to her loving family.
    Joe & Charlene Schaefer
    Colorado Springs, CO

  14. Condolences to Colleen’s family and friends; may you take comfort in happy memories and in the support and love of one another. I was another of Colleen’s “Betsy-Tacy” friends, and we always enjoyed seeing each other at various events over the years. She often made it to the Twin Cities to meet up with out-of-town Betsy-Tacy friends, and I loved talking to her about everything under the sun. We also saw one another at the Betsy-Tacy conventions over the years, and everyone got a kick out of her costumes! She was a warm and caring person, feisty, funny, and proud of her family’s accomplishments. I will miss her. Much sympathy to you.

  15. Our heart felt sympathies to her family. God’s blessing during this time. We have fond memories of times together with Colleen.

  16. I’m so sorry to hear this. I’m one of Colleen’s Betsy-Tacy friends. I loved her messages to our group as she was so insightful and full of warmth. I had the honor of seeing her at some of the gatherings that we both attended—she could fill a room with joy just by walking into it.

    I loved her description of her home, her stories. I miss her already. My condolences, my sorrow joins with all of us who cared so much for her.

    Colleen—miss you!

  17. My heart felt sympathy to your family. I worked with your mom for a very short time but she had a huge impact on my career as a teacher. What a fabulous, loving, creative soul!!

  18. What a shock to see that my old friend from Bemidji state College has passed away. I’m so sorry for her family. Rest In Peace Colleen❤️

  19. I was a relatively new friend of Colleen’s, meeting her through the Betsy-Tacy book group. I am so sorry for the loss of this bright, loving, full-of-life spirit.

    Prayers for peace, strength and comfort for all of you.

    Verlinda Henning

  20. Colleen was our babysitter when we were kids. One of my younger sisters is named for her (another is named after Colleen’s sister Ann). She managed our unruly crowd of kids (5, then 6, then 7 of us – don’t think she ever got to babysit #8, but her mom, Vera, was there for his birth). Colleen always stayed in touch with our family and was a blessing to my parents. We will miss her so much. Peace to her family. May her memory be a blessing.

  21. Another of Colleen’s Betsy-Tacy online friends chiming in. I dreamed of some day meeting her, visiting “on the shores of Lake Mora” which sounded as cozy and friendly as she did. Colleen was a bright light to so many of us and we’ll miss her warmth, humor and all-encompassing friendship.

  22. There will never be a greater friend or human being than Colleen was. My condolences to all of her family. Her memory will always live on .

  23. I always enjoyed our walks and talks while cheering on the skiers at Vasaloppet. No matter the weather or a life situation you were always there for me. I’ll deeply miss your warm and loving friendship.

  24. We will always remember what good friends and neighbors Colleen and family were to my parents, Curly and Lil Kientop. Prayers and peace to all.
    Chuck and Darlene Kientop

  25. Deepest Sympathy to Colleen’s family! Prayers surround you all! She was an extraordinary teacher, and I witnessed that on many occasions during my tenure in the School District, when parents asked to have her teach their Kindergarten children! She was a friend to so many of us and will be sadly missed.

  26. I was lucky to work with Colleen at Irish fair for several years. She was fun and feisty but most of all friendly. Anyone who knew her for a minute was her friend and she will be remembered with great fondness by her whiskey tent comrades. Deepest condolences

  27. Colleen was a great friend.
    A great person. I will remember her and our friendship always. Her family was so nice to me during all the times I spent at their house in high school. I send my deepest sympathy.

  28. I am so sorry to learn of Colleen’s passing. I am another Betsy-Tacy friend meeting her only once when she attended a gathering in Minneapolis. I knew from seeing her lovely smile that she was a kindred spirit. My sincere condolences to all of Colleen’s family and friends for your loss.

    Barbara Carter
    Columbia Heights, Minnesota

  29. Colleen was a lovely person who I was always glad to see when traveling to Minnesota. She made me laugh and laugh. May her memory be a blessing.

  30. I am deeply saddened by the sudden death of Colleen. I’m proud to have known such a kind, warm and brilliant person. My prayers and thoughts are with her and with those she left behind.
    Like others, I have known Colleen through the B/T list serv. I have attended some conventions in which she was at. She was also a frequent contributor to the list, so I felt I knew her.
    “What is lovely never dies, but passes into another loveliness, star-dust or sea-foam, flower or winged air.” —Thomas Bailey Aldrich

  31. I was so honored to know and work with Colleen at MHS.
    Also, so happy she could join us at our Bloody Mary Breakfasts. Colleen was very generous to lend me Halloween costumes, especially the nun costume, very authentic!! She was a very friendly, well admired teacher and friend.

  32. Colleen was a delightful teacher who taught each child to love learning. Colleen left such a positive impact on both of our children. They model her teaching today.

    We will miss your Irish wit, your laughter, and your warmth.

    Jean and Ralph Fairchild

  33. Colleen was a force of energetic positivity. Such a generous person, she was always one of the first to reach out to anyone in our Betsy-Tacy group with a kind note of support – and her enormous infectious grin lit up the whole Convention center. She found such joy in daily life, and she could make an entertaining story out of anything, from getting a new toilet to her car’s leaking oil tank. It was a delight to know her, and she leaves a very big hole in this world. Sending love to her family. Please know how much your girl was treasured.

  34. I am a Betsy Tacy friend and delighted in the time I spent with Colleen and Vera at a Deep Valley Homecoming. She was wonderful company and a kind and caring friend. I will sorely miss her and our adventures together.

  35. We will certainly miss having Colleen as our neighbor. We loved chatting “over the back fence”, and our little dog Molly adored her. Her passing is a loss to the neighborhood.

    Randy & Carol Reynolds

  36. Colleen – What a person!! I knew you as a teacher, a walker in Mora, but most of all for the way you took over the kitchen at Sticks and Stones and made it run like a charm. You were awesome. I loved your spirit and love of life. You will be missed. But see you in the afterlife!!!!

  37. We feel blessed to have known such a vivacious soul as Colleen. It must have been a treat to work with her in a school setting. Heaven is undoubtedly more lively now that Colleen has arrived. Wishing peace and comfort to her family at this difficult time.
    Judy and Dan Durand

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