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Colleen Gerrits

May 15, 1932 - Oct 06, 2020


It is with sad and joyous emotion, Colleen Gerrits has been lifted to heaven early in the morning of October 6, 2020 to be with her wonderful husband of 59 years, Dennis Gerrits. He has been waiting for her since his passing on November 11, 2014. She slipped away quietly and peacefully surrounded by her family and the compassionate staff of the Sharon Richardson Hospice Center.
Colleen Mabel Mitchell born on May 15, 1932 to Irvin & Stella Mitchell in Cadott, Wisconsin. Colleen graduated from Cadott High School in 1950 and went onto Stout State University to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher. Colleen graduated from Stout with a Home Economics teaching degree in 1954. Colleen’s first teaching job was at Luck High School in Luck, Wisconsin. It was while she was a student at Stout when she met Dennis Gerrits, while he was home on leave in 1952 from his Army Air Corp assignment in California. They continued to stay in touch with many love letters between Wisconsin and California. They became engaged as Colleen was finishing her college studies. Colleen often shared that she said, “Yes,” with the understanding that she wanted to have at least a year of teaching experience before marriage. Dennis must have decided she was worth the wait, and they were married in Cadott, Wisconsin on July 23, 1955.
They moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to start their married life together where Dennis worked for the Wisconsin Gas Company for 30+ years. Colleen taught at different high schools and technical schools in the Milwaukee area during those early years. Eventually settling in Grafton, Wisconsin where they purchased their first home. Colleen was a career mother, always pursuing her love of sewing through the years of raising their eight children. She taught night school classes at the Technical School in Port Washington, WI which became part of Milwaukee Area Technical School (MATC). She continued teaching at MATC through the years until a Home Economics teaching job at Grafton High School became available in 1976. She taught at GHS for 17 years, where she finished her teaching career in 1993. She taught for a grand total of 40 years! She has many great stories and memories of her teaching years. As a kind observer shared with me, “I think your mother taught sewing to everyone in Ozaukee County during those years!”
After her retirement in 1993, she and Dennis sold their home on 13th Ave. in Grafton, Wisconsin to move on to the next chapter in their married life, Retirement. They relocated to Woodruff, Wisconsin where together they volunteered weekly with Meals on Wheels and attended daily mass at their parish. They enjoyed their retirement life in the Northwoods, with their neighbors and friends in their senior community.
She is the loving mother to Shawn (Barb) Gerrits, Mary Dickey, Kevin (Kari) Gerrits, Maureen (David) Kipp, Nicholas (Katherine) Gerrits, Andrew (Kathy) Gerrits, Kathleen (Todd) Tutas, and Samual (Anne) Gerrits. Colleen and Dennis were blessed with 22 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. Colleen is preceded in death by her parents, sister, and two brothers, her loving husband, Dennis, and most recently her great granddaughter, Paisley Christine.
A visitation will be held at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, 818 Huron Ave. Sheboygan on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 from 10 a.m. until the time of mass at 11 a.m. Fr. Mark Brandl will officiate. Masks and social distancing are required. Burial will follow in the Calvary Cemetery.
Online condolences may be expressed at
In lieu of flowers a memorial fund in Colleen’s name has been established for the Grafton Community Scholarship Fund.
The family wishes to extend a heartfelt thank you to the staff of the Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice.


Date: Tuesday Oct 13, 2020
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Location: Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church [map]

Funeral Mass

Date: Tuesday Oct 13, 2020
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Location: Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church [map]



Guestbook Entries SIGN GUESTBOOK

Helga Heiman

So sorry for your loss of this amazing mother and Lady. Colleen was such an inspirational and fun colleague at GHS. Always kind, helpful, and fun. ❤

Paul & Gloria Alex

So sorry to hear of Colleen’s passing. It was wonderful to work with her and serve her audio visual needs. We send our Love and Prayers from Arizona.

Jill Mitchell

So sorry for your loss, my heart goes out to the family, prayers and hugs go to you all

John & Nancy Logan

What joy to know that your mom and dad are once again together in heaven. Oh the memories, you dad staying with us to deer hunt, their wedding, the visits with them in Woodruff. We were not created for this world, that's why God calls us to himself in eternal life. It is not a easy experience loosing ones parents. Our sincere sympathies and prayers are with all the Gerrits family.

Evelyn Arntz

I've always admired Dennis and Colleen their lovely marriage and family. I was a bridesmaid at their wedding, , may she rest in peace, God bless...

Michael K Gerrits

Sorry for your loss. Aunt Colleen was a great woman and will be greatly missed.

Michael and Lynn Carney

Nick, Katherine and Family, Our thoughts and prayers are are with you during this trying time. May God Bless your mother and your family.

Bill and Sandy Euclide

Our deepest sympathy to the family. Our prayers and thoughts are with you. Colleen was a fantastic person and always had a little twinkle in her eye. As principal of "Grafton West H.S." she kept us on our toes and often made us laugh so hard the tears would come to our eyes. She will be missed

Patrick and Amy Gerrits

Wonderful person and she is missed.

Mike & Charlotte Morrison

We both mourn your loss, but rejoice in the fact that she is reunited with her beloved husband and family members who went to be with the Lord before her. We know she is happy to be smiling down on her family still here, knowing she will see you all again one day. Our love to all of you.

Tom and Debbie Gaeding

To Nick, Katherine & the Gerrits Family; Cherish the wonderful memories of your mother and grandmother. We send our sympathy, thoughts and prayers to you all and hope that the memories you have make this difficult time a little easier. Tom & Debbie Gaeding

Dan Herbst

My sympathies to Nick and the entire Gerrits family. We're thinking of you at this difficult time.

Crystal Duran

So Very Sorry for your loss!!!! Thinking of you all in this very difficult time!!!

Charlie and Helen Rowe

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Gerrits family. May you all have comfort in the many memories you’ve shared over the years.

Jay Morrison

Sorry for your loss, all the best to the Gerrits family in these difficult times.