Colette Crean dies at 57

Posted 6/6/24

Colette Crean, 57, of Patchogue, died peacefully on Sunday, May 26, 2024, surrounded by her family. She was a loving wife of 30 years to Gerard James Crean, and mother to Anne (Elizabeth) …

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Colette Crean dies at 57


Colette Crean, 57, of Patchogue, died peacefully on Sunday, May 26, 2024, surrounded by her family. She was a loving wife of 30 years to Gerard James Crean, and mother to Anne (Elizabeth) Koehler-Crean, Julien Crean, and Nolan Crean. She was a devoted daughter to Margaret and Stephen Nolan, and a cherished sister of Michele Nolan, Priscilla Castellano, Denise Gustafson, and Jennifer Nolan.

Mrs. Crean was born into a fun-loving family. They worked together with their parents to create a homestead with chickens and a large garden, which provided for their family of seven.

Together with her four sisters, there was never a dull moment. Raised in rural Middle Island, they spent much of their time playing outside, climbing trees, teaching each other dances and gymnastics tricks. In the winter, they would spend hours ice skating on their neighbor’s pond or sledding down the big hill in their backyard. Summer family trips included camping on Long Island beaches and visiting a family friend’s beach house in Watch Hill, Fire Island.

As an imaginative child, Mrs. Crean could be found creating plays for her sisters or avoiding housework by reading in a closet. Her love for learning, reading, and writing continued throughout her life. She graduated from Longwood High School. She pursued higher education, earning a bachelor’s degree at Southampton College, and a master’s degree in education at SUNY Albany. In her career, she loved teaching, especially young children and those with disabilities. She touched many lives while teaching pre-K at New Life Community Church in Sayville.

While raising her family in Patchogue Village, she instilled many of the values and traditions from her upbringing into her children. She shared her reverence for the natural world by enjoying time spent on the beach, birdwatching, stargazing, and gardening with her children and husband. Many summer days were spent going to the library, where she passed on her love of books to her three children. She and her family read together often, and enjoyed discussing what they were each reading and learning.

Each year, she lovingly created opportunities for family to celebrate seasonal traditions. Several generations would gather to exchange Christmas cookies or decorate Easter dough dolls. She meticulously filled out her 2-foot wall calendar to always remember the birthdays and anniversaries of her loved ones. She liked making her loved ones feel special.  Her home is a place of warmth, welcome, and music, where she often hosted family and shared her gift of baking.

As a mother and wife, she attended every event her children were involved in, and became instrumental in organizing, planning, and supporting those involved. She sewed costumes for plays, cooked spaghetti and meatballs for basketball team pasta nights, and was ready to give a ride home to anyone who needed it in her Chevy Suburban. Creativity was infused into family life over the years. She found joy in her children’s growing love of music and the arts. She signed them up for church choir as toddlers, and when they were teens, she would often sit and listen to their piano and voice lessons in their home.

Through her active support of her family, she developed a deep connection to her community. As an active parishioner of St. Francis de Sales R.C. Church, she taught religious education and volunteered at their Vacation Bible School. Mrs. Crean lent an ear to provide advice and guidance to her loved ones. She lived her Catholic faith by loving each person she met. 

Mrs. Crean was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September 2021. She displayed incredible strength as she pursued every treatment option available to her, including rigorous chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation. She greeted each day with optimism and grace. After she courageously fought pancreatic cancer for two and a half years, her bright spirit shines on through all she loved. Her sacrifice and suffering binds the family closer together, which will be her everlasting legacy.

Her life was honored by a funeral Mass at St. Francis de Sales Church, which was attended by many family and friends. In honor of her passion for teaching and providing for those in need, please consider donating to Gigi’s Playhouse Long Island. 


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