Mary Colleen (Cushney) Snelson, 84, of Anacortes, peacefully passed away in the pre-dawn hours of Monday morning, Sept. 10, 2012, while in the care of Island Hospital staff.

Colleen was born Sept. 15, 1927 in the front bedroom of grandma and grandpa Van Winkle's farmhouse in Sunnyside. She was raised in the Sunnyside area, attended a two-room country school through seventh grade and then moved on to Sunnyside High School, where she graduated in 1945. Colleen attended Washington State University for a year and a half, where she met the love of her life, Jack Snelson.

In April 1947 Colleen and Jack were married, then relocated to Sedro Woolley to work in the family business. Their son Greg was born in August of 1948. Then the family relocated to Brewster, where daughter Terri was born in November of 1951.

The completed Snelson family moved back to Sedro Woolley in 1952, and then to Anacortes in 1954, where they enjoyed many years raising their family and expanding their interests with friends.

Upon retirement Colleen and Jack moved to Maui, Hawaii enjoying the Pacific breezes and beautiful beaches for seven years.

As grandchildren came along, Colleen and Jack relocated back to the mainland, settling in Burlington until Jack's death in 1996.

Colleen moved back to her beloved Anacortes to be closer to family and friends, where she lived until her death. Colleen may have been considered a homemaker, but she used many available hours to assist with a host of volunteer organizations including Island Hospital Auxiliary and Women's Auxiliary at the Episcopal Church in Laha'ina, Hawaii, as well as acquiring her AA degree from Skagit Valley College.

Additionally, Colleen spent many hours working at Burton Jewelers in Anacortes as well as in local jewelry shops in the Laha'ina area.

Colleen and Jack traveled extensively to many areas in western North America, internationally to Mexico and with friends to Europe, particularly Seville, Spain, where they were guests of the Canadian Consulate.

She is survived by her son, Greg (June), of Anacortes; her daughter, Terri of Port Angeles; sister, Rita Wefer of Bellingham; sister-in-law, Dolores Snelson of Sedro Woolley; grandchildren, Jessica (Aaron) of Guemes Island, Vance of Bellingham and Amanda (Jason) of La Conner; one great-granddaughter, Aayla Belle Peterson; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Colleen was preceded in death by her parents, Bert and Marie Cushney; husband, Jack; brothers-in-law, Norman Wefer, Frank Snelson and Bill Snelson; sister-in-law, Celeste Snelson; and numerous aunts and uncles.

The family would like to extend a special thank-you to Fidalgo Care/Rosario Assisted Living staff and caregivers, staff at Chandler Square Retirement Center, and Island Hospital staff for their care and compassion during this time.

Memorial services will be held Saturday, Sept. 25, 2012, at 2 p.m. at Christ Church Episcopal in Anacortes, with a reception to follow.

Memorials may be made to the Anacortes Christ Episcopal Church, Gentry House Adult Day Care Facility, American Cancer Society or Hospice Care.

Those wishing to share memories of Colleen and sign her on-line guest register may do so at

Evan Funeral Chapel and Crematory, Inc. in Anacortes and the San Juan Islands is in charge of arrangements.


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