Colleen R. Buntin, age 75, passed away peacefully from a stroke on February 25, 2019 at 7:05pm at St. Luke’s Hospital in Boise, Idaho, surrounded by her husband and family. We are confident that a quilted carpet guided her straight into God’s arms.
Colleen was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa on November 29, 1943. She met the love of her life, J.R. Buntin, in the Denver City Park and married the young Air Force airman four months later on February 2, 1962. They just celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary. Colleen and J.R. embarked on a 30 year military career. Their adventure started in Germany where their son, Jeffery, was born. They returned stateside to Colorado where they had their second child, Beth. Next stop took Colleen’s husband to Vietnam. She was a very young wife and mother of two and held their family together while her husband served in Da Nang. When J.R. returned safely from Vietnam, they were stationed in California where their last child, Shayne, was born. The Air Force then took Colleen’s family to Italy, Nebraska, Colorado, Louisiana, Germany and then Arizona, where J.R. retired as a Chief Master Sergeant.
Colleen was extremely proud to be a patriotic military wife and she had a way of making every move an adventure for her kids. She loved her children immensely and made sure that there were always memories being made that would last a lifetime.
After retirement from the military, Colleen and J.R. moved to Illinois and then finally Idaho.
Colleen was a quilter who gifted many beautiful quilts over the years to family and friends. She was an avid reader who always had a kindle by her side even at the end of her life. Colleen loved all kids and was a foster mother to over 40 children and taught preschool and then kindergarten for many years through her church. A big passion for her was supporting her children and grandchildren by attending all their activities and being their biggest cheerleader.
Colleen was preceded in death by her parents, Walter and Beatrice Smith, and her brother, Walter “Casey” Smith III.
Colleen is survived by her ever loving husband, J.R., and her three children, who were her pride and joy, Jeff Buntin, Beth (Eric) Hangstefer, Shayne (Rick) Collins and her sister Kathy (David) Kaplan. Her precious grandchildren, Jessica (Andrew) Goodall, Jackie (Cole) Leuders, David Hangstefer, Meredith (Dakota) Barr, Addyson Hangstefer, Braden Collins, Rebekah Hangstefer, Jonathan Hangstefer, and James Hangstefer. She was blessed with six great grandchildren, Alivia, Ella, Harrison, Leighton, Troy and Caroline. Colleen’s faithful companion and lap dog, Gracie, brought her immense joy. Colleen is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Family Committal Service will be at the Rock Island National Cemetery, Rock Island, IL 61299 on Friday, May 17, 2019 at 10:30 AM. (Military Installation; meet at the Moline, IL gate at 10:00 AM for escort.) A Celebration of Life Service will follow the same day at 2:30 PM at Bethel Church, 3535 38th Ave., Rock Island, IL 61201, with a reception to follow.
Memorials may be made to a stroke or stroke rehabilitation charity of your choice. The family would also like to thank all the doctors, nurses and staff at St. Luke’s Hospital for the love and compassionate care to Colleen.