Betty “Colleen” Cohn-Anderson passed from this life peacefully in her apartment at Touchmark, on December 1st, 2017 in Helena, Montana at the age of 87.
Born on July 28th, 1930, Colleen grew up along the headwaters of the Judith Basin in Utica, Montana. The oldest of four children, she was always taking care of people, a quality she would carry throughout the rest of her life. As a young woman on the Korell family ranch, Colleen developed a love for horses and rodeo, eventually earning the title of Central Montana Rodeo Queen in 1951. After graduating from Hobson High School in 1948, Colleen moved to Bozeman, MT to attend Montana State University. While in school, she joined Pi Beta Phi and was a member of the women-only SPURS National Honors Society. It was in Bozeman where she met Jack Cohn, the man who would become lucky enough to call himself her husband, after they married in 1953. In 1952, she graduated with a degree in education and Dean’s list honors.
Soon after graduating, Jack and Colleen moved to Sultan, Washington, where Colleen had her first job as a teacher and tennis coach. Eager to return to Montana, however, Jack and Colleen moved back to the mountains and Missouri River, making Helena their home. They started a family in 1955 when their first son, William “Bill”, was born on July 15th. Six years later, on that same day, their second son, Thomas was born. After arriving in Helena, Colleen worked at the Florence Crittenton Home, where she helped young, wayward girls develop life skills, leading her to write two books, “The Art of Cleaning House” and “The Art of Being a Good Waitress.” Colleen then moved to Helena Junior High to work as a Home Economics teacher until 1984 when she retired.
Not one for the retired life, Colleen began a new career in real estate as a realtor in Helena. She naturally excelled in this career, as she was a friend to everyone she met. After the loss of her first husband, Colleen was lucky enough to find love again when she met Bill Anderson. When the two married, Colleen readily added new loved ones to her family in the form of Bill’s children and grandchildren. Together, she and Bill spent their later years traveling the world, making sure to always bring home souvenirs for the grandkids. Between trips, she organized Bridge clubs to play cards and hosted family dinners where the pan of her chicken enchiladas was always scraped clean. Additionally, she was an active member of the Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) Helena Chapter, providing scholarships for young women across the state, as well as awarding an annual scholarship for outstanding high school scholar/athletes in honor of her first husband, Jack.
Her kind smile and famous huckleberry cream pie will be missed by her surviving family and loved ones. Colleen is survived by both of her brothers, Phil (Karen) Korell and Jake (Karen) Korell; her two sons, Bill (Jeannene) Cohn and Tom (Kim) Cohn; her husband Bill’s two sons Jock (Cathy) Anderson and Scott (Alice) Anderson; her grandchildren, Jaisa (Daniel) Hudson, Cassie Cohn and Austin Cohn, Thomas Jr. (Meghan) Cohn, Paige Cohn and Kaden Cohn, Greg (Hollin) Anderson and Jay Anderson, Brooke Anderson and Nick Anderson; her great-grandchildren, Slaten, Asher and Kelton Hudson, Carsyn and Braxxten Wessel, Issac, Blaine, and Eli Cohn, Adelyn Anderson, and Bayleigh House. She is preceded in death by her sister, Isabelle (Korell) Ingalls; her husbands, Jack Cohn and William “Bill” Anderson; her grandchildren, Christina Anderson and Christian Cohn.
There will be a memorial celebration of Colleen’s life on May 3rd, 2018 at 3:00 PM at Plymouth Congregational Church in Helena, Montana. Memorials can be made to the Jack Cohn Memorial Scholarship fund or a charity of your choice. Please visit www.retzfuneralhome.com to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Colleen.