On June 19, 2022, Colleen Carkeet Bill passed away peacefully in her home, surrounded by family. She was 91 years old. Colleen was preceded in death by her parents, Stephen and Mary Carkeet, her brother Stephen Carkeet, her husband Tom Bill, son Stan Bill, and daughter Julia Bill. She is survived by her brother Stanley Carkeet (Jeannie), sister-in-law Donna Carkeet, daughter-in-law Lori Bill, daughter Katie Day (David), daughter Sally Paulson (Greg), son David Bill (Patti), and Amy Houghtaling (Ed), as well as her AFS Exchange Student Son, Camilo Uribe Zapata of Bogota, Colombia. Colleen was blessed with a large family that now includes thirteen grandchildren: Matt Bill (Jackie), Grayson Bill (Cecily), Alec Day, Devin Day, Sarah Day, Tim Paulson, Emily Alvarez (Juan), Jeremy Paulson, Hailey Schademan (Ryan), Blake Bill, Zoe Bill, Ariana Houghtaling, Genevieve Houghtaling, and Colombian AFS grandchild Maria Uribe Aranguren. Colleen was also blessed to have two great grandchildren: Sadie Bill (Matt/Jackie) and Miles David Schademan (Hailey/Ryan). She lived to know that great grandchild number three, from granddaughter Emily Alvarez and her husband Juan, would be arriving soon.
Colleen was raised in Turlock where she received an excellent education that included school plays, in which she enjoyed acting and often played the lead. This love of acting carried into her adult life through community theater before stepping away to raise her growing family.
Colleen became involved in AFS in 1982, hosting and placing students with families in the Turlock area for many years. She especially enjoyed counseling students and fostering relationships, continuing to communicate with many to very late in her life.
With her husband Tom, Colleen enjoyed tennis, family vacations, and world travel. Colleen was a lifelong learner and loved the game of bridge, playing regularly to very late in her life. She missed bridge club and spoke of the game and her bridge friends often. A natural counselor, everyone knew they could talk to Colleen and get excellent advice and true compassion. From grandchildren to caregivers, everyone could talk to Colleen. She imparted so much wisdom in her long life.
Colleen’s family will inter her ashes privately, but invite you to join them in a Celebration of Life open house on July 1st, 2022 from 5:00pm to 9:00pm, at the Great American Grill, located at 19920 First Street in Hilmar.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.