Colleen (Filbin) Bergsma, one of the true originals and champions of The Dalles, Ore., entered immortality on June 6, 2018, after a valiant, three-year battle with cancer.
She was born on December 6, 1951, to Charles and Gwenith (Stanley) Filbin, in The Dalles, Ore. Colleen was the 1970 “Northwest Cherry Sweetheart” who got to meet celebrity Betty White and Jack Swigert, one of the Apollo 13 astronauts. She attended school in The Dalles, Lake Oswego, Hood River and Dufur, all in Oregon. She later attended Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Ore., studying to become a dental hygienist.
Colleen married Gene Underhill in 1972 and they had two sons, Dustin and Brandon. They lived on a ranch in Dufur for many years. During that time, she worked in a title and escrow office in The Dalles and started a gift shop specializing in high-end collectible antique dolls.
In 1994, she began her career in real estate. She worked at Windermere Real Estate for several years before starting Colleen Bergsma Real Estate.
In 1996, she married Craig Bergsma, to whom she was very happily married for 22 years. Her passion became traveling all over the world, and she and Craig visited more than 15 countries between 1996 and 2017. Her favorite trip was to Ireland in 2012, but the trip that stood out the most was going to Cuba in 2017.
Colleen was a quick thinker and talker and had an opinion on everything. She loved kitties and animals. In the early 1990s, she joined The Dalles Kinship program and became a "big sister" to Sara Hearn, with whom she kept a strong relationship with ever since. She volunteered continually in the community as a dog walker, ambassador with The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce. She was a great friend and loved her granddaughters dearly.
She is survived by her sons, Dustin (wife Alicia) and Brandon (wife Lacy); four beautiful granddaughters, Harley, Hayden, Addison and Evelyn; sisters, Mary (Beanie) Kramer (husband Steve) and Diane Uto (husband Keith Mobley) of Dufur; brothers, Dan and Mike Filbin (wife Kitty) of Tygh Ridge; and stepson Miles Bergsma of Spokane, Wash.
She will be truly missed by all who knew her. A memorial is planned for June 24, at noon in Sorosis Park. All who knew Colleen are welcome.
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