June 21, 1931 – January 27, 2020
Colette Turina was born in Portland, Oregon on June 21, 1931, the longest day of the year. She was an only child and was mostly raised by her grandmother. She spent much of her childhood with her "Kuzins" the Sweeneys, as much a baby sitter as she was their 7th oldest child. She was extroverted and had an inquisitive nature, and kept herself entertained galavanting about Northeast Portland spending time with extended family and friends from school. One of her most cherished childhood memories was spending a summer exploring the Rose Garden in Washington Park on her own while her father completed the stone work on the park's famous steps.
Colette's favorite place on Earth was Seaside, Oregon, where she spent many youthful summers, and continued to return for years to come, including throwing a spectacular 60th Birthday bash at a rented beach house where she packed in all of her family and friends for a weekend.
In her late teenage years while visiting a friend in Astoria, Oregon, Colette attended a Young People's Picnic where she met a striking young gentleman named Don Turina. He turned out to be the love of her life and the two were married on June 9, 1951. They had six children, five boys and one girl, fulfilling Colette's wish growing up for a large family of her own. Colette and Don faced unspeakable heartbreak at the loss of their son Kevin while he was in high school. His memory was always kept close to their hearts, and Colette took great pride in presenting a scholarship in his name every year at Central Catholic High School. Despite the hard times, she has always said that if she could do it all again, she would. She loved being "Mom".
"Mom" turned into "Grandma" which turned into "Great Grandma" and with each title change, the adoration from her expanding brood continued to grow.
Colette was quick with words and in a constant quest for answers. Fittingly, the Dictionary was her favorite book and completing the daily newspaper crossword was her favorite past time. Not one to lack confidence, she always did it in pen (colorful, gel-tipped pen). Her was with words extended into conversation, which made her an exciting partner for playful banter, and a formidable opponent in any argument.
Outside of the home, Colette loved her work as a secretary, and would not have chosen another profession. This may help explain her love for "The Office", which in her retired years offered countless hours of entertainment.
Colette had very specific tastes which informed her signature style: bright colors, bold patterns, shiny shoes, and wrists stacked with bangles were always in. Piercings were always out. Her favorite color was red, reflecting her fiery personality. Her least favorite was black, which she deemed the "most boring" - she was anything but. Over the years Colette's eclectic range of fascinations included the Summer Olympics, State Fair animals, Sumo Wrestling, and the Rodeo.
Colette's kitchen was the heart of the house, and many family gatherings circulated around a table topped with cans of Tab and as many blackberry pies as she could manage to bake. Pie for breakfast was not an uncommon occurrence. Her grandchildren always looked forward to "Fabulous Fridays", weekly dinners at Grandma's where the cousins could play ping pong and rough house in the basement or run free in the park, hyped up on the spoils of soda and cable TV.
Later in life, Colette often quipped with a smile that at her 80+ years, she hadn't an "ache or pain in her body." She attributed this phenomenon to a lifelong regimen of Diet Coke and cigarettes.
Colette died peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family on January 27, 2020. She is survived by her five children: Michael, Stephen (Julie), Patrick, John and Nanette Fey (Michael), her 20 grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Donald; and their son, Kevin.
- Visitation Monday, February 3, 2020
- Rosary Service Monday, February 3, 2020
- Funeral Mass Monday, February 3, 2020
- Committal Service Monday, February 3, 2020
February 3, 2020
We Koppler kids cherish the memories of great adventures camping and being out in Nature with you and your wonderful parents. Colette knew the key to getting kids to behave, from one meal to the next out camping, was that big gallon jar of Pogey Bait. Love to all of you. Karen and her siblings.
February 1, 2020
Dear Turina Family,
Colette and I were at Madeleine School together in the 1940's.
I was Jean Flynn then.
It was nice to have Patrick and his family our across-the-street neighbors as his children grew up. I remember how they all pitched in to fill in the sand between the walls where their new extended front porch was to be. I missed them when they moved.