Folk artist Colleen Whiting Gates died Jan. 1, 2014, at her home in Palatine, after a lengthy illness that confined her to her home for the past five years.
Colleen was well known for her art and decorative painting. Her designs have been published in national magazines. In addition to her own creations, she taught and performed demonstrations for a variety of art suppliers.
She was president of the Windy Brushes Chapter of the National Society of Tole and Decorative Painters and was awarded the Chapter's Distinguished Service Award.
Prior to devoting full time to her artwork, she was employed in a variety of business activities: Bankers Life in Des Moines, Iowa; real estate sales in Highland Park, Ill.; accountant and office manager for Kennedy and Tomlen Construction companies; and her own accounting business.
Colleen Marise Whiting is the daughter of Dale Orien and Rosa Marie Tweddale Whiting. She was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa on Feb. 4, 1932.
She attended the Fort Dodge public schools but graduated from Roosevelt High School when her family moved to Des Moines, Iowa in her junior year. She continued her education at William Rainey Harper College, with the International Accounting Society, and with renowned artist Jo Sonja Jansen.
In 1950 she married Robert Lee Anderson. Their early married years were spent in Ames and Fort Dodge, Iowa before settling in Highland Park, Ill. They are the parents of Robert Lee Anderson II of Appleton, Wis.; Kristina Marise Faber of Barrington, Ill.; and Michele Rosa Perry of Bensenville, Ill.
During these years, Colleen was a Girl Scout and Camp Fire Girls leader; Sunday School Superintendent at Highland Park Presbyterian Church; and active in the PTA. She also participated in a variety of groups including the Junior Women and Newcomers Clubs.
In 1975, she and her first husband divorced and in 1978 she married David Edwin Gates. Together, they have enjoyed traveling throughout the United States in their Winnebago RVs. They have served as co-presidents of the State Winnebago Organization and the International Association of Winnebago State Presidents.
She also taught painting and craft classes in conjunction with the annual rally of Winnebago owners in Forrest City, Iowa. In addition, she was Treasurer of the Board of Directors of her condominium association.
Colleen was a fun-loving spirit who enjoyed dancing, playing bridge and golf, and cheering for the Iowa Hawkeyes' athletic teams. She loved books; was an avid reader who assisted school librarians during her children's school years; and served as a volunteer librarian in her Mesa, Arizona retirement community.
In addition to her three children, Colleen is survived by her husband, David; a brother, D. Douglas Whiting of Lancaster, Pennsylvania; five grandchildren, James Walter Faber II, Kristina Marise Czepczynski, Shelly Karan, Michael Anderson and Caroline Anderson; and ten great grandchildren.
Funeral and interment will take place in Fort Dodge, Iowa.
Submitted by Smith-Corcoran Funeral Home