Friends, family and travelling enjoyed
Colleen Yvonne Harris (Schetzsle) was born in Consort Hospital on May 28, 1957, the fifth child of Pat and Francis Schetzsle. Terry, Sharon, Jim, and Sandra were her older siblings. Danny completed the family a year and a half later.
Colleen lived with her family on their farm at Little Gem. While her Mom taught school in Hemaruka and later in Veteran, Aunt Olga (Manion) and Grandma Schetzsle helped with the babysitting.
Colleen started school at Veteran School at five years of age. She spent one year attending school in Calgary as her Mom went to University of Calgary to complete her Bachelor of Education Degree. She continued on in Veteran and then Coronation, graduating from Coronation High School in 1974.
She worked as a STEP student, was on the staff for the first published The Veteran Eagle and enjoyed hanging out in the ‘den’ with her many friends.
After Grade 12, Angus Anderson asked her to work at the Alberta Treasury Branch in Veteran. She really enjoyed working with Angus and was able to gain experience to transfer to the ATB in Coronation. Kent Harris came into her life at this time and they were married for a time.
Colleen was a clever, hard-working, attention-to-detail person and her banking career took her to Stettler, Edmonton, High Prairie and McLennan.
Along the way, she met many new friends and had so much fun with them. She travelled to Phoenix in the heat of the summer with her Mom and Sandra, she travelled to New York and to Paris with Aunt Aggie, and made many happy/crazy memories with family and friends in Las Vegas.
When visiting in Edmonton, Colleen would stay with Aunt Lois, Uncle Gusty and Cousin Joyce. Joyce and Colleen started their love of Denny’s where Denny’s served breakfasts 24-7!
In 1990 Colleen enrolled in the two year Business Accounting at NAIT graduating in 1992. Here Colleen met many new friends, reconnected with cousin Allen Schetzsle, and learned the benefit of ear plugs (the bus barn was close to her apartment). This “benefit” stayed with her the rest of her life!
After graduation Colleen put her accounting skills to work at several Shoppers’ Drug Marts in Edmonton. Her niece Tracy was in Edmonton at this time and they enjoyed going to the Moose Factory for the weekly steak special!
In the fall of 1997, she moved back to Coronation. She worked at Jacobson’s Pharmacy and admitting in the Consort and Coronation Hospitals. She continued working in admitting in Consort Hospital until last December.
In Coronation, Aunt Loretta, Colleen and her Mom had many good times together eating out at Howard’s and generally taking care of each other. “Miss Kitty” found a home with Colleen and her Mom.
In 2000 Henry Chartier and Colleen connected, perhaps part of the attraction was Henry’s cooking skills! Colleen enjoyed the food he brought to the hospital right to the last week. Colleen and Henry enjoyed trips to Manitoba to visit Henry’s family and also the fishing. Henry’s two daughters added a wedding in Mexico when Michelle and Dustin got married, a step grand-daughter Jerzie, and the wedding of Alicia and Raymond last fall.
Colleen enjoyed the fishing, “Miss Kitty” and all animals. She really liked to ride horses, dancing and was an avid reader her whole life. She always liked her T.V. shows such as Criminal Minds, The Big Bang Theory, and nothing like an old movie! Colleen had an elephant collection with all sorts of small, large and unique elephants. She was the Loretta of the family for remembering dates, names, and events.
After some health concerns, Colleen was diagnosed as being bipolar in the fall of 2009. This was a very traumatic time but also a time of learning and healing. She was very focused to do things as directed by her doctor, for example, her medication was always taken on time and she had routine for every day.
She was diagnosed with gynecological cancer in 2013, going through radiation, chemotherapy and contacted C-Diff spending four weeks in the Cross Cancer Hospital.
She vigorously rang the “Bell of Hope” after her last radiation treatment in March 2014. She thought she was cancer free at this time.
In January of this year Colleen was diagnosed with primary small cell lung cancer. This time after her radiation treatments she was not ready to ring the bell.
She accepted her diagnosis and returned to the “Home away from Home” room in Coronation Hospital. She had many friends and relatives visit her with hope, prayers, food, courage, laughter, many reminiscing stories and large doses of love.
She passed away peacefully early Monday morning May 18 after a brave and courageous struggle with the effects of cancer.
Colleen is survived by her spouse Henry Chartier, her sister Sandra Johnstone and her children Randy (Debbie) Johnstone, Julie Schroeder, Candy (Cameron) Brown, and Patty (Kelly) Shaw; her brother Terry (Linda) Schetzsle and their children Paula (Travis) Galenzoski, Nancy (Kurt) Ashbaugh, and Graham (Jen); and her brother Jim (Susan) Schetzsle and their children Rhonda (Shane) Doyon and Ryan (Jocelyn Foster); her sister and brother-in-law Sharon and Larry Wilson’s children Greg (Kim), Tracy (Glen) Anhorn, and Sandy (Steve) Kohm, Henry’s girls Michelle (Dustin) Zubach and their daughter Jerzie and Alicia (Raymond) Cook.
Colleen is also survived by her Uncle Gordon (Bernice) Schetzsle and her aunts Aggie Rumohr and Delia Sorensen, and 23 great nieces and nephews, many cousins and many truly amazing friends.
Colleen was predeceased by her parents Francis (1986), Pat (Siama) 2009, brother Danny (1962), sister Sharon Wilson (2007), brother-in-law Larry Wilson (2012), and brother-in-law Harvey Johnstone (2013).
A memorial service was held at the Veteran Full Gospel Church, on Friday, May 22, 2015 at 2 p.m. with the Pastor Darrel Durksen officiating.
The eulogy was shared by Susan Schetzsle and the scripture readings were read by Julie Schroeder. Linda Schetzsle played for the congregational hymn ‘In the Garden’. Special music was by Julie Schroeder and Candy Brown and also a duet by Nils and Jeanette Berg.
Honourary pallbearers were Maureen and Alf Hudgeon, Joanne and Wes Sieger, Beryl and Jim Smith, Betty and Dave Jones, Tammy and Barrie Pengelly, Dolores and Pat Cuthbertson and Rowena Swahn.
The urn bearer was Henry Chartier. The interment took place at the Veteran Cemetery.Family and friends gathered at the Veteran Community Hall for a time of visiting and reminiscing. A lovely lunch was prepared and served by the Full Gospel Church Ladies.
As an expression of sympathy and in loving memory of Colleen, memorial contributions may be made to the Village of Veteran Cemetery Society, The Canadian Cancer Society or to a charity of the donor’s choice. Heather Caseley of Coronation Funeral Home has been entrusted with the care and funeral arrangements. 403.578.2928 Condolences can be sent to the family by visiting our website at www.coronationfuneralhome.ca.
Card of Thanks
Colleen’s family want to especially thank her faithful lifelong friends who came so often to comfort, support, feed and try to entertain her, as she struggled through the last three months of her life.
Thank you also to Pastor Darrel Durksen, the ladies of the Veteran Full Gospel Church, the Honourary Pallbearers and to all who participated in her service. Heather and staff of the Coronation Funeral Home were truly appreciated for their guidance and compassion.
A big thank you to the Doctors, Nurses and staff at the Coronation Hospital – you became like family to us all.
Terry & Linda Schetzsle
Jim & Susan Schetzsle
Sandra Johnstone and all of their families