July 11, 1931 — January 1, 2019
Annette “Toni” Colley passed away peacefully, with family, on January 1 at the age of 87.
Toni was born in Santa Monica, California, to Peter and Annette Gadd, the youngest of five siblings. She was raised in Southern California, at the Uplifters Ranch in Santa Monica, and later in Eagle Rock. She attended Westridge School for Girls in Pasadena, graduating in 1949. She then went to Colorado College, where she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, graduating with a degree in Mathematics in 1953. Following a tour of Europe, she obtained her teaching credential at Occidental College, and then began her teaching career.
Toni married the love of her life, Ted Colley, on June 29, 1957. She took a break from teaching, while together, they raised three sons, Jim, John and Scott, in Eagle Rock. Toni was a dedicated and loving mother. Their home was always a hub of neighborhood activity, where all were welcomed and loved. There were many memorable summer vacations on Balboa Island, and camping trips in the family trailer to many of the western states, and Canada. As the boys grew, she resumed teaching first grade at Paradise Canyon Elementary School in La Canada.
Toni and Ted retired in 1989 and moved to Big Bear Lake. Since then, they lived in Yucaipa and Redlands, California, and, for the past nine years, in Albany.
Toni always had a positive attitude. A favorite saying was “bloom where you’re planted,” which she exemplified by making the best of every circumstance. She treasured her time with family and friends, hosting countless gatherings in her home. She was an advocate and encourager, lifting spirits of all around her. She was always singing — even in her later years she will be remembered singing down the hallway at the assisted living facility.
Toni had a strong Christian faith, summed up in some of her last words to her family: “I want you to wake up in the morning with a smile on your face, praise God, love God, and love people.”
Toni was preceded in death by her husband in 2011.
She is survived by her sons and daughters-in-law, Jim and Stephanie of Millersburg, Oregon, John and Cindy of Eagle Rock, California, and Scott and Sophia of Tappan, New York, five grandchildren; and ten great-grandchildren. She was so very proud of her entire family.
In honor of her years as a teacher, and her heart for children, donations can be made on Toni’s behalf to Bridgeway House in Eugene, which serves the needs of children with autism and their families.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. on March 9, 2019, at Fisher Funeral Home in Albany.