Early on June 28, 2023, Colleen finally left us and the pain of her failing health. It had been a long battle, with many visits to hospitals and the nursing home.
Colleen was born on April 29, 1949, the only child of Sophie and Donald Newhart. She grew up on Ithaca’s West Hill and Lansing’s Syrian Hill, surrounded by boisterous and loving relatives. After attending West Hill School and Ithaca High School, she enrolled in Tompkins Cortland Community College. But when a professor sent her to Ithaca High School to see a teacher there to work with, everything changed. This teacher, Jim Evans, recognized what a special person she was. He came with two young daughters, who also fell in love with Colleen, so in an outdoor ceremony (with bagpipes!) on Syrian Hill, they became a brand new family.
Colleen loved the girls and later, her granddaughters, with all her heart. A talented seamstress and chef, she enjoyed the booth next to Jim’s at the Ithaca Farmers Market, specializing in huge cookies, Syrian bread, and a popular line of sundresses, called Body Bountiful, that actually did fit all.
Colleen and Jim adopted another child, a baby girl who loved Colleen’s bangles and spectacular nails, and as she grew, brought her new parents great pride and joy. As an adult, she has been a pillar of support.
At home, Colleen discovered a fascination with the huge Cecropia moths native to the area and taught herself how to raise them. That was probably her most satisfying hobby.
In recent years, Colleen renewed friendships with some of her old pals from the high school days, and while she was still able, loved the “lunch group’s” often raucous gatherings.
Those who knew her will miss her and her laughter.
Colleen is survived by her loving husband, James Evans; daughters, Ashley, Heather and Jennifer; and aunt, Catherine “Cut” Abraham.
Friends and family are invited to a period of visitation at Lansing Funeral Home from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 12, 2023. A memorial service, officiated by Reverend Matthew Binkewicz, will begin at 6:00 p.m. at the funeral home.