October 23, 1948 — December 30, 2016
Colleen Lamel Gilliam-Laidlaw, 68, of Elkhart, went home to the Lord, Friday, December 30, 2016 surrounded by family. She was born October 23, 1948, in Elkhart, Indiana, the daughter of Julian P. Gilliam and Letha (Jeffries) Gilliam. After the death of both of her parents, she was lovingly welcomed in by Robert and June Berkshire of Elkhart, Indiana.
Colleen graduated from Elkhart High School in 1967. She graduated from Carter’s Secretarial School with a 2 year degree in 1969. On June 14, 1969 she was united in marriage to John Robert Laidlaw in Elkhart. She held various secretarial jobs throughout her life. She became a seamstress at Stephenson’s in Elkhart and later opened her own alterations business from home. Colleen lovingly served at the front desk at Ray of Light for many years. She was a Eucharistic Minister at St. Thomas Church in Elkhart and St. Pius X Church in Granger for many years. She was a long time member of the OK Mom’s group which developed an unbreakable friendship between many women in the community. Colleen also volunteered for the Elkhart Community Schools CARES program and at the Wellfield Botanical Gardens. In her spare time, she enjoyed gardening, quilting, scrapbooking, reading and spending time with family and friends.
She is survived by her husband John R. Laidlaw of Elkhart; three children: Karen (Matthew) Titus of Elkhart, Bryan (Carmen) Laidlaw of Hereford, Arizona, and Kristine (Mike) Losch of Elkhart; seven grandchildren, Tyler Laidlaw, Brandon Titus, Sophia Laidlaw, Aaron Laidlaw, Austin Titus, Sarah Laidlaw and Daniel Laidlaw; her mother June Berkshire of Elkhart; two brothers: John (Glenda) Gilliam of Guam and Ted (Mary) Berkshire of Elkhart; and three sisters: Debbie (Denny) Murphy of Tavares, Florida, Judy Berkshire of Niles, Michigan and Joanne (Greg) O’Malia of Fort Collins, Colorado and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Colleen was preceded in death by her father, Julian P. Gilliam, her mother, Letha Gilliam, a sister, Patricia Harris, her father Robert Berkshire and a son-in-law, Matthew Titus.
A visitation will be held on Thursday, January 5, 2017 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at McGann Hay Funerals / Cremations / Gatherings; 13260 SR 23, (enter off Cherry Rd), Granger, IN. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, January 6, 2017 at 11:30 a.m. at St. Pius X Catholic Church 52553 Fir Road, Granger, IN, Msgr. William Schooler, Pastor, officiating, with a visitation one hour prior to the mass from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. A luncheon will follow the mass at St. Pius X.
Flowers may be sent, however, the family requests any donations be made to Center for Hospice Care, 501 Comfort Ct., Mishawaka, IN 46545-5234 in Colleen’s memory.
To send condolences to the family, please visit www.McGannHay.com.
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