Colleen Kanemoto passed away peacefully at the age of 54 on March 16, 2018 at UC Longs Peak hospital in Longmont after a short battle with cancer.
She was born in Boulder, Colorado on August 11, 1963 to Joyce Kanemoto and Randall Crawford (deceased). She grew up in Longmont and was a 1981 graduate of Niwot High School where she served as the proud captain of the drill team. She then went on to study business at Colorado State University. It was there that she met James Peketz who she married in Broomfield, Colorado in 1986. After a brief time in Texas, Colleen returned to Broomfield and finished her degree in Business Administration at Metropolitan State University.
In 1993, Colleen gave birth to her first child, Samuel James, and later to her daughter, Grace Elizabeth in 1997. While raising her two children, she served as a preschool teacher and volunteer leader of the children’s ministry at Broomfield United Methodist Church. Her passion for serving others took her on mission trips to Romania. Though Colleen loved her work, her drive to do more led her to Regis University where she graduated with a Master’s degree in Education.
In the midst of this, she separated from James, all the while maintaining an incredible partnership together as they continued to raise their children. After receiving her degree, she began teaching at Birch Elementary School. Most currently, Colleen was teaching at Mesa Elementary School in Boulder, where she taught alongside some of her best friends until weeks before her passing.
Colleen loved hiking with her dog Rosie, baking and decorating amazing cakes (and making an absolute mess while doing it), and celebrating her birthday each year at a quiet monastery retreat in the mountains.
In 2014, she met Tom Brown and immediately fell head-over-heels in love. They married on June 14, 2015 and adopted their other dog Lucy. Her family and friends will remember her in Tom’s own words, “She is the most faithful woman I have ever met. She doesn’t wear it, she lives it”.
Colleen was preceded in death by beloved grandparents Jimmie and Chiyo Kanemoto; and aunt and uncle Jane and George Kanemoto. She is survived by her husband Tom Brown; children Sam (Josie) Peketz and Grace Peketz; “bonus kids” Madison and Jackson Brown; her mother Joyce Williams and step-father Jack; her adopted father Jerry Miller; her siblings Jeffrey Dean (Stephanie) Miller and Barbara (Wade) Christensen; and extended family including an uncle, aunt, niece, nephews, and many cousins.
There will be a gathering of family and friends at Ahlberg Funeral Chapel on Wednesday, March 21st from 6-8pm. The funeral service will be held at the Longmont United Church of Christ on Thursday, the 22nd at 5:30pm. Cremation entrusted to Ahlberg Funeral Chapel and Crematory. Donations in Colleen’s honor can be made to Global Hope or Boulder Homeless Shelter, two organizations very close to her heart. Share condolences at www.ahlbergfuneralchapel.com.