Colleen Martin

Obituary of Colleen Martin

It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of Colleen Martin, our devoted wife, mother and friend, on October 30, 2020. Colleen slipped quietly from the world following an arduous four-months-long critical illness resulting from sepsis and myelodysplastic syndrome.

Colleen Marie Cordy was born in Manchester, Connecticut, where she and her husband, Albert Francis Martin, built their home and raised their family.

Colleen filled her 59 years with enough love to last multiple lifetimes. She married Al, the love of her life, after just six months of dating. The companionship Al and Colleen shared through so many of life’s trials is a testament to the limitless strength of their friendship and the true depth of their marital bond. Although even they would admit that their relationship wasn’t always easy, it was absolutely for always. Their stubbornness was matched equally by their loyalty and devotion.

In her 41 years of marriage, Colleen became mother to three daughters; Amber, Courtney and Brittany, and dedicated “Nona” to her granddaughters Nora (8) and Ellery (5). Her sons-in-law, Jonathan Mayhew and Adam Peck were her kids just the same. Colleen was predeceased by her sister, Kathleen, her brother, David, and her father, Calvin Cordy. She leaves behind her beloved mother, Jean Cordy, her sister Barbara Quagliano, her mother-in-law Norma Martin, as well as much-loved nieces, nephews, and life-long family friends.

Colleen will be remembered as a down- to-earth, no-nonsense mother to all; a fierce protector with strong, capable hands and equally loving arms, and a smile that welcomed those who came into her home as family. To be near Colleen was to feel safe, relaxed, and completely cared for. Her love and compassion extended to the pets and animals she gave a home to; from rescue cats and kittens, to dogs, ferrets, rabbits, rodents, birds, frogs, fish, and even a mouse she saved from her mother’s kitchen only to accidentally let loose inside her own house. (Oops!) Loving animals brought her true joy and purpose, and her empathy was unparalleled.

The consummate hostess, Colleen threw generous holiday parties year-round. Christmas gifts were endless. She endeavored (and succeeded) in giving her children and grandchildren the stuff of dreams. She kept a well-decorated, cozy and comfortable home to be proud of, and cooked an incomparable spaghetti dinner for which she is widely known. (If only we’d gotten her to write down the darn recipe.)

While she never defined herself as a creative person, her actions indicated otherwise. She had a knack for interior design, landscaping, floral arrangement, and a variety of other crafty pursuits that proved time and again where her daughters and granddaughters got their artistic flair. She was an integral supporter of their creativity; fostering burgeoning artists, writers, musicians, singers, dancers, and actors. She took pride in her girls’ artistry and celebrated their achievements whole-heartedly.

From the start, Colleen’s life goal was to be a mother—to raise her children in a stable home filled with unconditional love. Not only did she fulfill that dream, she had the chance to redefine it when she became a grandmother. She embraced the role of care-giver all over again, completely dedicated to her “Smunchies”, Nora and Ellery, she undeniably became their “favorite person”.

While her absence leaves us with an unfillable void, our hearts are at the same time tremendously full. Colleen taught us how to love, and thus, how to keep living. Our memories of her all-encompassing hugs, plentiful kisses, and her contagious, riotous laughter will lighten our spirits for the rest of our years. Her signature scents and perfume will bring us comfort: Cinnabar dusting powder by Estée Lauder is forever “Mom” to us, and Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue is an aromatic embrace from Colleen. We will think of her in the sound of a nightly bath being drawn, we will picture her as we sit down to a meal of Chinese take-out, we will feel her presence at gatherings around the kitchen table as we sip our coffee. We will honor her with every coming adventure, new milestone, and unexpected joy. We are altogether deeply and forever thankful; to her and for her.

A celebration of Colleen’s life will take place at the home her husband built, which she made most welcoming to all who knew her: Please join us at 28 Garden Grove Road in Manchester, CT on Saturday, November 7th.

Understanding the challenging circumstances of hosting a gathering of any size at this time, we encourage (thoroughly healthy) guests to attend at their own discretion. We are sensitive to the concerns and hesitations and invite all guests to stay for as long or as little as they are able to do comfortably. We truly would love to have you with us even if your visit is brief.

The family will formally receive guests from 11 am to 12 pm, followed immediately by a festive celebration for the remainder of the evening. Outdoor celebrating will be foremost, and fortunately it looks to be a beautifully mild November day (thank you, Colleen!).

Burial will be private at the convenience of the family.

The John F. Tierney Funeral Home, Manchester has care of the arrangements.  For online condolences please visit

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