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SILLER – Colleen Anne (nee Gillis)

March 7, 1957 – November 15, 2009

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Colleen Siller, beloved wife of Martin Siller of Calgary. Colleen passed away peacefully at home on November 15, 2009 at the age of 52 years, after a lengthy illness.

Colleen is survived by her loving husband, Martin; her sister Connie, Halifax; her brothers Ronnie (Diane), Sydney, Cape Breton; Frank (Pauline), Halifax; Alan (Murdith), Coxheath, Cape Breton, and several nieces and nephews. Also mourning her loss are her dogs, Sam and Maggie Jiggs.

She was predeceased by her parents Lucy and Alan Gillis; her mother-in-law Teresa Siller and her father-in law Joe Siller.

Colleen graduated from Sydney Academy High School in 1976; graduated from Saint Francis Xavier University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1979 and a Bachelor of Education degree in 1980. That same year, Colleen ventured west to Calgary embarking on a teaching career which spanned 25 years with the Calgary Catholic School System. Twenty-two of those years were spent at St. Bernadette Elementary School, guiding the children of Lynnwood-Ogden and Riverbend communities. The result of Colleen’s teaching approach led to many return visits by her former students.

Colleen was active in the St. Bernadette Parish community, where she devoted many hours towards sacramental development classes.

Colleen’s devotion to teaching, constant support to others, wonderful sense of humour, artistic and food creations, and her infectious smile, will be sadly missed by her many friends and family across Canada.

The family sincerely thanks Doctors Mark Sosnowski, Sean McFadden, Cynthia Card, Steve Angyalfi, Jacob Easaw, Avis Boyar; the Tom Baker Cancer Centre Staff – Unit 47; the entire Palliative Home Care nursing team and the pharmacists and staff at Lynnwood Drugs and Rexall Pharmacy On Call.

Relatives and friends are invited to Prayers and Tributes at St. Bernadette’s Catholic Church (7103 – 20A Street S.E.) on Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.

Funeral Mass will be Celebrated at St. Bernadette’s Catholic Church (7103 – 20A Street S.E.) on Friday, November 20, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. At Colleen’s request, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Calgary Humane Society (4455 110 Avenue S.E., Calgary, AB T2C 2T7).

There will be a memorial service held in Sydney, Cape Breton, on a date to be announced.

In living memory of Colleen Siller, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Telephone: (403) 243-8200.

Offer Condolence for the family of SILLER – Colleen Anne (nee Gillis)

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Condolence Messages

  1. Linda Doucet Fraser :

    My very first best friend will never be gone from my heart. From when we met in Grade 4, then thousands of miles apart for over 29 years, it didn’t matter. An email, a visit home to Cape Breton, we’d pick up where we left off…like we were never apart. Our friendship will never die. Now you’re one of your beloved angels, Colleen, so you can watch over me & see how bad my cooking efforts really are. That should keep you laughing for eternity. Until…..we meet again. Linda

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  2. Matthew Borras :

    You touched many, and we know you’re with our father in heaven. condolences to your family and friends. St. Bernadette surely will not be the same without you. May God bless you and welcome you in his arms.

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  3. Leslie & Barbara Siller :

    Dear Martin:
    Very sorry to hear about your loss. We realize that Colleen has struggled for many years and now is in the hands of our saviour. We will remember you both in our prayers. Please let us know when the memorial service is planned for Sydney as we do our best to attend. Love Leslie and Barbara

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  4. Dear Martin,

    My heart is aching this morning for your loss. Mrs. Siller was, and always will be, my most cherished elementary school teacher. I was one of her many Grade 5 students at St. Bernadette and I will tell you that the kindnesses she showed me and the fullness of her heart still resonates with me fifteen years later. She was an exceptionally lovely human being and I promise that the love, the warmth and the generosity she shared with her students will be missed but never, ever forgotten.

    Love and prayers,

    Monica White

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  5. Martin, My heartfelt condolences to you and your family and pray may her soul rest in eternal peace.

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  6. Martin,

    I am very sorry for your loss. Colleen was an exceptional person. She loved all that was around her, and she had a special love for animals. Other than when she was a child, I don’t recall ever seeing her cry. She always had a smile on her face and something nice to say about anyone and anything. She always looked on the positive and bright side of life.

    Paul

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  7. Mrs. Siller will be sadly missed. My brother and I both had her for our grade five teacher. Between the two of us, we have so many memorable moments. She always showed such grace and compassion. Heaven is so fortunate to have her.

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  8. Dear Martin and Family, it was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Colleen. Martin, I wish to extend my deep and sincere condolences to you and your family during this very difficult time.

    Lorna Ross

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  9. Judge Sandra Hamilton :

    Dear Martin, I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your lovely wife. I didn’t know her well enough to have been aware of her many wonderful attributes. However, she obviously provided you with a great deal of love and support in your life, and made a positive impact on the lives of many others. You will surely miss her dearly. My heart goes out to you. Sandra Hamilton

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  10. Sandra Ward-Zich :

    Martin,

    Heartfelt sympathy goes out to you and your family for the loss of Colleen.

    May time heal your sorrow.

    Sandra, Perry, Noah, Logan Zich

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  11. Michelle MacDonald (Pilon) :

    I am sorry to hear of Colleen’s passing. I had her as a grade 5 teacher 14 years ago and will always remember her. She was kind and loving and even tuitored me on the weekend @ her own home. Not too many teachers would have done that to help out their students. She will be greatly missed by all of those who had the great pleasure of ever knowing her.

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  12. Dear Martin, Peter and I and our boys were deeply saddened to hear about Coleen’s passing. I did not know she was that critical. I have many fond memories of Colleen and especially our trips to the farmer’s market and some of our Christmas times together. I know this is such a difficult time for you but hopefully you will sense the Comforter as it says blessed are they that mourn for they will be comforted. We as a family will be praying for you at this most difficult time.
    Peter and Patti Klein and Family

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  13. Martin
    Please accept my sincerest condolences on the loss of your dear wife. I lost my mom a month ago, also from the ravages of cancer, so understand a bit of what you are going through. I am buoyed by the belief that our deceased loved ones await us with others in another dimension, that they are happy and want us to move on, however painfully, with our lives.

    You have my sincerest sympathies.

    Cheryl Daniel

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  14. Laurie Benwell :

    Martin,
    I am so sorry for your loss. I pray that you are comforted by lovely memories of your time together. Colleen was obviously a wonderful, loving person who will be sadly missed, but lovingly remembered.

    Laurie Benwell

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  15. On behalf of myself and Records Department at Traffic Court, We would like to send our deepest condolences.

    Martin, you are in our daily thoughts, our prayers are with you all. So sorry for your loss.

    JP

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  16. Martin,
    I am so sorry to hear about Colleen passing. I remember her first battle with cancer many years ago and how she fought and recovered to enjoy life for several years. How wonderful that she was able to have such a positive impact on so many young people and their parents. I admired her strength so much and I admired how supportive you were of her.
    You will miss her. Thinking of you and offerring my deepest sympathy. Doris

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  17. John J. Siller, MD :

    Martin:
    We are very sorry to hear of your great loss. Please accept our sincere condolences. Although we were never able to get to know Colleen closely, we were impressed by her love and loyalty to you, her work, and the Church. She, no doubt is enjoying the rewards of a good life now. Joyce, myself and your cousins send our prayers for her and to you during your great loss. Your Uncle John

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  18. Jaymie Wittgruber :

    I am sorry for your loss. I was a grade 5 student of Colleen’s 16 years ago and will never forget her. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  19. Claudine Lemieux :

    Martin,
    Please accept my sincere condolences for your loss. My prayers and thoughts are with you. God be with you in this difficult time.

    Claudine

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  20. Martin, I can’t imagine how you feel – your best friend is gone and we are all filled with sadness. Just cherish the thought that Colleen is in a better place now and can hear the angels sing! God Bless

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  21. Michelle Bissett :

    I remember Mrs. Siller when I was a student at St.Bernadette in the late 80’s. She was a wonderful teacher and I know that she will be missed. I wish her family all the best.

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  22. Paul and Judy Bartlett(Krawchuk) :

    Martin,
    Please know you are in our thoughts. I know you will miss her. I have a lot of fond memories of our high school years, but sorry we lost touch.
    Judy

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  23. Brenda MacDonnell :

    Martin, I was shocked and saddened to read of Colleen’s passing on-line this morning. Though I have not seen Colleen or you for many years, memories of our time together at X will always bring a smile to my face and in my heart. My deepest sympathy to you Martin.

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  24. It’s with such a sad heart that I send this message to the Siller and Gillis families.

    Rosa Tebovici

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  25. Martin, my thoughts and prayers are with you. I know your positive outlook will help you in this sad and challenging time. Keep your memories close. Diane

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  26. Penny Benedict :

    Martin, my thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and Sam and Maggie Jiggs during this most difficult time.

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  27. Martin,

    I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Take Care.

    Jodi

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  28. What a great lady! My heart goes out to you and your family. Mrs. Siller was a source of inspiration to us all! God be with you at this time.

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  29. Martin,

    I am so sorry about your loss. My prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

    Linda Z.

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  30. Carol Henselwood :

    Martin:
    I was so sorry to hear of your loss. May your heart be filled with happy memories of the wonderful years you had together. Please accept my deepest sympathy.
    Carol

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  31. Karen Sheppard :

    Martin Dear,

    I am truly sorry for your loss. May you find comfort now, from many years of memories. My prayers are with you.
    God Bless.

    Karen Sheppard (nee Latham)
    Halifax NS

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  32. Barbara Sampson Greig :

    DEAR MARTIN
    WHAT CAN I SAY THAT HAS NOT ALREADY BEEN SAID. WHEN I THINK OF COLLEEN I SEE HER BEAUTIFUL SMILE AND GREAT LAUGH AND I FEEL SO VERY LUCKY TO HAVE KNOWN HER. YES WE WILL MISS HER BUT I AM HAPPY SHE IS NO LONGER IN PAIN. MARTIN YOU WERE THE LOVE OF HER LIFE GOD BLESS YOU. SEE YOU IN CAPE BRETON.
    UNTIL
    LOVE BARB

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  33. It was with sadness that I read of the passing of my cousin, Colleen. Although many years have passed and we have lost touch, I am grateful for the lasting and fond childhood memories of visiting her and her family. Like her mother, and her entire family, she was always so positive and cheerful. I send my condolences and offer my prayers to Colleen, and her family. With sympathy Paul F. Keliher and family, Halifax, Nova Scotia ( Glace Bay, CB)

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  34. Agnes (McNally) Campbell :

    Martin & The Gillis Family,

    It was a shock to open the paper and see a friend that I started grade primary at S.A.D. obituary. We lost touch over the years but I many happy memories.
    Deepest sympathy,

    Agnes

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  35. Nicholas and Sarah D'souza :

    Martin and family.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you, so very sorry for your loss. Take care.
    Nick and Sarah

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  36. Martin,

    I was so saddened when I heard of Colleen’s passing. It’s difficult to know what to say at times like this but one thing for sure, heaven has become a better place. Both you and Colleen are in my prayers and thoughts.

    Dave MacKay

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  37. Lily-Mae Casiano :

    My deepest and heartfelt condolences. I was one of her students back in 1995 and I can say that she touched many lives of students including me. She had a heart of gold and was a great teacher. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Lily-Mae Casiano

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  38. Dear Martin,
    I was deeply saddened to hear of Colleen’s passing. You have suffered a tremendous loss and words cannot express the sorrow you must feel. Today I remember the great times we enjoyed at St. Francis Xavier. I have some great memories of our dinner parties in Antigonish and all the laughs I shared with you and Colleen at Gillis Hall and in our humble apartments. I know Colleen was the love of your life from your days at Sydney Academy and I just wanted to let you know that my thoughts and prayers are with you during this most difficult time.

    Terry

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  39. Patrick (Pat) Siller :

    Colleen, you are in my heart and in my every breath.
    Thankyou, for being my brother Martin’s Angel.

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  40. Albert Crawley :

    My deepest sympathy to you and family.

    Albert Crawley

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  41. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.

    Gordie Gosse
    MLA Cape Breton Nova

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  42. Hello
    Although it has been many years since I have seen Colleen, I have fond memories of her and her family from the days my parents would take us to Sydney to visit the Gills family. My deepest sympathy to all her family and friends
    Cha Keliher-cousin

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  43. Kavanaugh Family (Ryan) :

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.

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  44. Danni and Graeme West :

    All of our thoughts and prayers are with you. We will certainly miss fighting over the best ginger snap cookies ever made. We will always remember the good times and great friendship.

    Dannielle and Graeme West

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  45. Dear Martin

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Our thoughts are with you in this difficult time.

    Noel

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  46. Roland McCaffrey :

    Hi Martin,
    Please accept my sincerest condolences on your loss. My thoughts are with you as you go through this most difficult
    time.
    Regards, Roland

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  47. Frank and Frances Penney :

    Martin & the Gillis Family

    We were very saddened to hear of Colleen’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.

    Frank and Frances Penney

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  48. Jean and Leonard Siller :

    Dear Martin:

    We were very sad to hear the news of Colleen’s passing earlier this week.

    While we had only met her once or twice, we could tell that she was a very caring and spirit filled person.

    We are sure that she will be missed deeply. It is our wish that the memories of the life you shared will always be real.

    With our thoughts and a prayer,

    Jean and Leonard Siller

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  49. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in this difficult time. My sincere condolences. Mrs. Siller was an amazing woman and a brilliant teacher. I was a student of hers in the mid 90’s. She will be dearly missed.

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  50. Dear Martin and family,

    My deepest sympathy to you and your family.
    I worked with Colleen for six years at St. Bernadette. She was an excellent teacher whose love for her students was very apparent.
    We shared many, many laughs together over the years.

    Know that you are in my prayers,
    Sincerely,
    Ellen

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  51. Chad McWilliam :

    The best teacher out there. She was carring, understanding, giving of her time and had an infectous smile. She will be missed dearly. My heart goes out to you and your family Martin.

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  52. M. Kathleen Richards :

    Upon learning of the sad news of Colleen’s passing from my daughter who was a student of Colleen’s in the mid 1980’s at St. Bernadette, I am reminded of the kind of teacher she was. My daughter spent the summer before moving into Colleen’s class in angst as Colleen had a reputation as being a strict diciplinarian. I assured my daughter, Charleen, over and over again, that these kinds of teachers more often than not turn out to be the ‘best’ of teachers. I was right and Charleen went on right through to Junior High School at St. Augustines receiving special math tutoring from Mrs. Siller (the Killer)!

    Really good teachers come along only once or, if you are lucky, twice in one’s school career and it is these teachers who make the greatest impact on our and our children’s lives. That lasting legacy makes us all better people as they stand as the perfect example of guiding and leading with a firm and loving hand and a wonderfully caring heart. It is never goodbye … but always ‘until we meet again’!!!

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  53. Linda Worth-Bezanson :

    Colleen and I have been friends since we were 11 years old. I am, and will always be in awe of her gentle, quiet bravery and her strong faith. Martin, you were her rock, steadfast and true. My thoughts turn to her every time I cross the causeway to her beloved Cape Breton.

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  54. Catherine Jeffery :

    Dear Martin
    I was so sorry to hear about Colleen. I remember her lovely smile. My prayers are with you at this difficult time.

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  55. Peter & Jeanette (Murray) Chafe :

    Dear Martin & the Gillis family:

    We are just learning of the passing of your beloved Colleen. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. From our days in the “Shipyard” and Sydney Academy to our time at StFX, we remember Colleen with a smile as bright as the sun.
    Jeanette & Peter

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