Colleen Bauer, a Vail-area resident since 1969, died in Grand Junction on April 29. She was 65.
Colleen was born in Redwood Falls, Minn., to Hugh and Luella (Siedenstrang) Dunlevy. She graduated Redwood Falls High School and later earned her degree in social work from the University of Minnesota.
Colleen moved to Denver in 1968 and worked as a social worker. There she met her husband, Roger Bauer, also from Minnesota, through a mutual friend. They settled down together in a small converted school house west of Vail in Squaw Creek. They then moved to a small house in Red Cliff just at the base of Shrine Pass. They were married and soon after welcomed their only child, Justin, in 1972.
They lived in and around the Vail area, including Red Cliff, Minturn, Eagle-Vail and Edwards. Colleen and Roger parted ways in 1998. She was proud to own her first home in Edwards at Miller Ranch beginning in 2005.
Colleen worked in the area beginning as a bus driver in Vail Village. Later jobs included The General Store, The Hyatt at Beaver Creek, The Village Store in Beaver Creek, and the last 16 years as the operator at the Steadman Clinic. If you've called the clinic, you have talked to Colleen. She loved her job there and she took great pride in what she did.
Colleen fought Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (commonly known as OCD) and the mental health issues that commonly accompany the frustrating, disabling, and often misunderstood disease throughout her entire life. It wasn't welcome, but it was part of who she was.
Colleen was preceded in death by her parents, Hugh and Luella Dunlevy.
She is survived by her sisters, Virginia Kessler and Jeannine Barnes; son Justin and daughter-in-law Amanda; grandchildren Morgan and Alec; numerous nieces and nephews; her best friend since third grade, Donna Dirlam; and many others.
A memorial will be held at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Vail Interfaith Chapel. Coffee, tea and cupcakes to follow.