She was born Feb. 16, 1955, in Terre Haute, to Rueben Phillip Gilbert and Wilma E. (Miller) Gilbert Wilkin.
Colleen grew up in Martinsville, Ill., and graduated from Martinsville Community High School in 1973. Colleen was employed for many years at Indiana State University in the admissions office. Colleen graduated from Ivy Tech Community in May 2008.
Colleen was always involved in softball as a player and umpire. Colleen always loved horses. Colleen was proud that her dad and two brothers served heir country in the Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force that she volunteered to play "Taps," at any Veteran's funeral as her way of giving back. Colleen loved living on her acreage in southern Indiana.
Colleen's life revolved around her 18th century reenactment. She loved that time period of country's history and the people that shared her interest. From this love, she created the character "Hester Purefinder," aka "Hester" the beggar woman of the times. Although somewhat hard to look at, OK, ugly, it was what was behind that persona that made the character. Colleen had a big heart, never met a stranger and was always willing to help. A willingness to constantly learn and then teach what had been learned. A free spirit that is now allowed to soar. Let it be known that period costume is requested to be worn by those who knew and loved our Hester in the celebration of her passing.
Of all the trades agoing, sure the begging is the best for when a woman is tired, she can sit her down and rest.
Colleen was preceded in death by her father Reuben Gilbert and her brother Robert (Bob) Gilbert.
She is survived by her mother Wilma Wilkin, brother Richard (Dick) and wife Debbie Gilbert, nephew John Gilbert and Michelle, nephew Justin Gilbert and Christine and niece Kristina Christensen and Richard, and great-nieces and nephews Mikayla, Olivia, Jacob, Sophia and Brandon, all of Tucson, Ariz.
Services will be at 10:30 a.m. (Central Standard Time) Wednesday, July 2, at the Greenwell Funeral Home, Martinsville, Ill, with "Preacher" Frank Jarboe officiating. Burial will be in the Ridgelawn Cemetery, Martinsville, Ill.
Visitation will take place from 5-7 p.m., Tuesday, at the funeral home.
Memorial donations and contributions may be made to the Martinsville American Legion Post 515 or to your local chapter of the American Legion.
Memorial tributes and condolences may be sent to the family at www.greenwellfh.com. Greenwell Funeral Home, Martinsville, Ill., is in charge of arrangements.