(Ethel) Eileen Colvin passed away at the John Knox Village Care Center on Tuesday, April 24 in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. She celebrated her 100th birthday in December.
Eileen is survived by her daughter, Bobbie (Carol) Perkins of Prairie Village, KS and her son, Roger Colvin of Fulton, MD. She is also survived by four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Her grandchildren are Janell Jones, Garnett, KS; Lisa Nason, Prairie Village, KS; Kate Colvin, Richmond, VA and Alec Colvin, Pasadena, MD. Eileen’s great-grandchildren are Anna Jones, Garnett, KS; Zach Nason and Zoe Nason, Prairie Village, KS. She is preceded in death by her husband of 54 years, Robert H. Colvin; a sister, Addie Dobson and a brother, Bill Schreiman.
Eileen was born on December 31, 1917 in Odessa, Missouri to William and Ida Schreiman. She grew up on the family farm south of Odessa and attended Odessa schools, graduating from high school in 1935. She met the love of her life, Robert (Bob) Colvin, while working at the NuWay Inn café, a local restaurant. They were married on July 25, 1938. Eileen completed coursework to be a school teacher and taught at the Chapel Hill Country School, a one-room schoolhouse. During WWII, Eileen, Bob and their daughter Carol, moved to Henderson, Nevada where Bob worked in an ammunitions plant and Eileen was a schoolteacher. After the war, Eileen and Bob returned to Missouri and purchased a farm to begin their life-long careers as farmers.
Eileen was a member of Bates City Baptist Church. She belonged to the Women’s Missionary Union and served as Sunday School Secretary for many years. She also helped with Vacation Bible School by working in the kitchen, baking cookies and picking up children who needed rides. In the community, she belonged to the Happy Hollow Club, a group of women in her rural neighborhood that met every month for fun and fellowship. She worked seasonally for Barnett Tax Agency, preparing farm-related taxes.
In 1998, Eileen sold the farm and moved to John Knox Village, Lee’s Summit, starting the next chapter in her life. She enjoyed participating in many activities while living there, but most of all she liked serving others and was an avid volunteer. She delivered mail to the residents of the Village Care Center for many years and she served as a Comforter, an outreach ministry of the chaplain’s office. She also was involved in volunteer work at First Baptist Church Lee’s Summit. She taught Sunday School, helped with Vacation Bible School and played with the hand bell choir.
Services will be held Saturday, April 28 at Langsford Funeral Home, Lee’s Summit, Missouri. Visitation will be at 11:00 and funeral services at 11:30. Burial services will be at Greenton Cemetery, Odessa, Missouri immediately following. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Eileen’s life. Memorial contributions may be made to the Greenton Cemetery Fund or to Lee’s Summit Baptist Church:Vacation Bible School fund.
We love you and will miss you beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
Lee’s Summit, MO 64063
Lee’s Summit, MO 64063
Thinking of you all. What a full life – so many memories for her friends and family to hold dear, Wishing you strength, sending you love.
For your birthday this year, I’m writing down a collection of memories:
When I was little, I had a red suitcase with a little blond girl on the front, and it said, “Going to Grandma’s.” I would get so excited to pack it up for my visit. For a long time, I assumed all grandmas lived on a farm with cows and kittens and a dog. And they had chocolate chip cookies, rice krispie treats, and rainbow sherbet for their little girls.
When I was at your house, I looked forward to breakfast. I always loved eggs, but after you set everything out on the table for breakfast, Grandpa said eggs were best with syrup, and would soak them in syrup from my waffles and feed them to me when no one was looking.
Then after breakfast, Grandpa would spread the fat you saved onto pieces of bread for the barn cats. I would follow him from the new house across the street to the barn. You said he’d get mad if I made noise and scared away the cats, so I would hide around the side of the barn and peak around the corner to see the kittens coming out of their hiding places.
I also liked to sit on Grandpa’s lap and drive the tractor. Mom and Alec would be sitting on the feedbags in the trailer, and you would be waving to us from the porch of the new house, as we drove away. On Grandpa’s lap, with my arms outstretched around the wheel, I felt like queen of the world. We would get to the top of a hill, and I would look all the way out to Kansas City, and survey my kingdom. A car would pull up beside us in the other lane, and Grandpa knew everyone, so I would wave, as he shouted to his friend, “This is my granddaughter!”
One of my favorite memories with you was when we were waiting on the laundry, we would use the hallway for bowling with the wooden red ball and pins we got from the tin can in your living room cabinet. We would try to be extra quiet, because usually Daddy was asleep on the floor of the bedroom hallway, so when the ball would hit the washing machine, I would put my finger to my lips, and run into the laundry room and catch it before it made any more noise.
I adored your living room cabinet, and all the treasures I would find inside. Once I put away all the blocks and pins back into the tin can, and returned the tin to the cabinet, I would pull out The Golden Books, and have you read to me on the couch with the blue blanket cover with gold fringes. I loved The Roly Poly Puppy, but I especially enjoyed the book about Gene Autry. Sometimes you would fall asleep after, and I would sneak over and get mint candy from the white porcelain basket.
My most loved toy I would look forward to visiting was the doll I named Rose, because of the rosebuds on her gown and bonnet. You told me that Lisa used to play with it when she was a girl, and Lisa was my favorite cousin, so I thought the doll was all the more special. Sometimes you would forget to have her out in my room before I came, so I learned to walk down the cool, wooden stairs of the basement, pad over to the shelf against the far wall, get all the way up on my tiptoes, and just reach her long, burgundy box. There she would be, laying on her back, with the soft, pink checked blanket tucked up under her chin, just as I had left her the time before. I ran with her up the stairs, into my room facing the highway, and tucked her into my own bed to take a nap. Then I would hook my finger into the loop hanging from the white shade, and pull gently, darkening the room for naptime. Sometimes I would fall asleep with her, but usually I would run off and play and let her sleep on her own.
When I was older I liked to play outdoors on my own. I loved frogs, and would chase them around your yard, until I learned that they had all been collecting in the basement window wells. I scurried back to the garage, and brought out a large, white plastic bucket. Then I went from well to well scooping up all the frogs and placing them in my bucket. I brought them around to the front porch, proud of my collection, and opened the glass door, yelling into the house, “Grandma! Come look what I found!” You replied, “What is it, Kate?” I responded with pride, “Frogs!” And of course, you answered, “Keep them outside!” Visiting the farm was an adventure to me; though I wasn’t a city kid, I never had so much room and freedom in the suburbs, nor the opportunity to sing to the cows! What you must have thought of me!
I remember one time, during a summer visit, Dad wanted to show Alec and me an old fishing hole of his, and told you to be ready to cook catfish for dinner. I thought that would be the neatest thing, to eat what we caught! So Dad, Alec, and I geared up in our overalls, and Mom even made me tuck my pant legs into my socks, and wear long sleeves—I was so hot! We sprayed so much bug spray, we stank to the next county before we had even begun. But sure enough, after a while around the pond, we had a bucketful of catfish. We brought them back to the house, me holding the bucket still in the tractor’s trailer. Mom and Dad gutted in the garage, and then we all showered while you cooked them up for dinner. Despite all the clothing and the bug spray, it turned out Dad was covered in bites, and was sprawled out on the living room floor, in excruciatingly itchiness. Alec and I stepped over him while Mom put hundreds of pink dots of calamine lotion all over his pale skin. And he muttered, “This is why I don’t go fishing anymore…”
I also looked forward to the farm dogs. My favorite dog was Ruff, and I still have a picture of myself laying in the grass with him under the tree by the old farmhouse. When I was older, I have a memory of a sweet Weimaraner covered in ticks. I felt so bad for him, dropped off in the country, abandoned by his family, I was determined to rid him of ticks. I pulled and I tugged, and he barely flinched. I asked you for help, and you said for me to leave him be—I would probably be annoying the poor thing, with all my poking and prodding. Persistent as always, to do things my way, I marched into the garage in search of pliers—these ticks were coming off, one way or another. I marched out into the yard, and straddled that dog between my legs, as if I were riding a horse, and one by one, pulled those stubborn, fat ticks off of that dog. He was such a good dog, he lay down with me afterward, and licked my face. Oh, how I begged my parents to let me bring him home.
There were so many farm memories: helping you take the sheets from the laundry in the metal basin, to the clothesline to dry; watching as Alec backed the tractor into the ditch in front of the house; diving into the corn in the barn with my brother; snapping peas on the porch; catching grasshoppers
You also took me to your church in Bates City, a small, white country church, with a green floor connecting to the Sunday School building. You introduced me to the girl down the road from you, a couple years older than me, and drove us both to Sunday School. Again, I felt so special, as you introduced me to everyone, “This is my granddaughter all the way from Maryland!” You also took me to meet my cousin in Odessa, Stephanie Michael, and she and I became friends, as well.
When you moved into John Knox, I still looked forward to our visits. You had the same familiar couch, and the same living room cabinet. And you still had the same cake tin on top of the refrigerator stocked with crispy chocolate chip cookies. You even had the same waffle iron, and would have fresh waffles and bacon for Mom, Dad, Alec and me when we came over for breakfast. The kitchen table looked into a gorgeous park, and we would look for squirrels and watch people walk their dogs. Quite a few times, when the weather was nice, we would walk through the park, stopping to look over the creek. You showed me all around your new home, and I was pleased you were involved in so many activities.
One summer, when I had a summer off from teaching, I drove out from Virginia with my dog, Penny, and came to stay and work at a bed and breakfast in Lawson, Missouri, just outside of Excelsior Springs. I was so excited, it was the first time I had made a trip that far on my own—it took us two days! When I had a day off from my bed and breakfast duties, I brought Penny to visit you at the apartment at John Knox. I’m so glad you got to meet her, and she adored you and loved walking through your park that summer.
Every time we talk on the phone, you always ask how Penny is doing. This means a lot to me. Not only do you ask about me, and remember all of my activities better than I do, but you want to make sure she is okay, and ask what she’s been up to. She’s a dog! She’s been “up to” eating and sleeping! J But you patiently listen as I recount one of her latest adventures and describe instances in which she is fearful of thunder, and even kittens.
Now that you’re in Valley View, I have new memories. I enjoyed my sleepover last year, as your special guest, snuggling into my favorite couch, and blow drying my hair while we watched the news and waited for Mom, Dad, and Alec to join us for breakfast. I reminisced with you at the piano in the Garden Room, and played all the hymns I knew in the hymnal, while you sang along, “At the Old Rugged Cross.” This year we played a mean game of Uncle Wiggily, and learned that Dad had marked all the good cards when he was little! And best of all, we had all the family together in the Ambassador Room for a Christmas Eve dinner feast and gift exchange. Janelle made you such a beautiful doily.
I look forward to the next couple Christmases visiting with you, and hearing stories about you and Grandpa.
Happy Birthday this year, and many more! Love, Kate