Janet Colleen Greenwell Dinsdale (Coll)

April 2, 1936 - January 19, 2020

On the bright sunny Sunday afternoon of January 19, 2020, Colleen passed from this earth she loved so very much. For several years, she stood strong against cancer and congestive heart failure, rarely complaining of their devastating effects. Colleen’s ultimate concern was always the family she would leave behind: her daughters Carrie Stewart (Bob), Rani McBride (Mick), and Donna Dinsdale (Deen); her grandchildren Trisha (Troy), Shae (Cory), Kristopher, Brady, and Austin; great-grandchildren Atticus, Max, and Elliott; her dear cousin John O’Driscoll; and beloved family-friends Ramona and Bruce, Kristen, Erin, and Riley. She also leaves behind many loved and cherished lifelong friends. 

Colleen was born April 2, 1936 in Ogden, Utah, to Clifford B. Greenwell and Jeanette Sneddon Greenwell. Her grandparents immigrated from Scotland and eventually settled in Ogden. While being proud of her Scottish heritage, she also loved the city of Ogden and its history. Colleen married Don E. Dinsdale on June 14, 1957. They later divorced, but remained dedicated to bringing up their daughters. Colleen attended Weber State College and received her bachelor’s degree in special education from Utah State University. She was a special education teacher for over 30 years, teaching in Ogden, Murray, and Salt Lake City school districts. Colleen retired from teaching in 1998.

 Colleen gave selflessly. Loving toward all, with a twinkle in her eye and a bright smile, she was always there for anybody who needed help. Strong and determined, she believed in and fought tirelessly for women’s rights and animal rights. She had a keen interest in politics and the democratic process, and never missed voting in an election. Passionate about protecting wildlife and natural spaces, Colleen gave her best to the environment and animals-wild and domestic. A tireless advocate for the most vulnerable, she was known for rescuing and providing for homeless dogs and cats. 

Colleen was a board member of the Utah Wilderness Association, High Uintas Preservation Council, and advocate for Utah wildland. For years, she put her voice and efforts toward actively defending wildlife, and speaking at public hearings in defense of these critters and their home. Colleen cherished being out among wild country and deeply loved Utah’s National Parks and the Northwest Coast.  She could often be found hiking, backpacking, or camping out of her Volkswagen Bus with family and friends. One of her joys was to sit around the campfire playing guitar to the music of John Denver. She was a music lover with a self-taught talent for playing piano and guitar. She loved traveling and road-tripping solo to California. One major highlight was a bike tour through England and Scotland’s countryside.

Colleen loved life and she loved her family and friends. She will be deeply missed. 

Colleen’s family wishes to thank her doctors at the University of Utah - Dr. Doane, Dr. Patel, and Dr.Tandor - for their excellent care. They would also like to thank Dr. Gottlieb and the nurses of Good Shepherd Hospice - Barbara and Kimberly, as well as her private caregivers - Cristina, Viviane, Alessandra - for the loving care they all provided to her over these last several months. 

Colleen’s life will be honored and celebrated on Saturday, February 22, 2020 from 3:00 to 5:00 pm, at Starks Funeral Parlor, 3651 South 900 East, SLC. Guests are encouraged to use the complimentary valet parking on the north side of the building.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to Best Friends Animal Society or Companion Golden Retriever Rescue Program.