In Memory

Colleen Ryden - Class Of 1985

Colleen Ryden

Born: 12/19/1966

Died: 04/30/1995 (in Alameda County)

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11/21/09 01:05 PM #1    

Lori Pritchett (1985)

For those who don't know what happened with Colleen: After we graduated, she continued her chemo for the Hodgkin's through the beginning of our Freshman year at University of the Pacific. In December of '85 she was pronounced in remission. After bouncing around a bit (UOP to Hawaii to Riverside to Hayward area) she finished her degree in at Riverside and headed back to the Bay Area. Her cancer returned in '94 and she then had a successful bone marrow transplant...unfortunately, she also had now gotten breast cancer. She died peacefully at home with her partner of nearly 10 years, Lucky.

Lot's of memories of that first year at UOP....  yes, Colleen was a HORRIBLE driver.  She had an old B 210 that we called the LaBomba.  She got a license plate holder that said Ryden in the LaBomba!  I think one of the funniest stories I have from UOP is one of intoxicated goofing around.  Colleen had on this pair of overall shorts and for some reason had her hands in the bib part.  There was a bunch of us in the hallway messing around and she tripped.  Since she had broken her nose and had one side of her face all plastic from a horse racing wreck, when she began to fall, she was thinking.  Since she couldn't get her hands out fast enough, she was trying to figure out how to fall on her face.  She ended up going nose first.  She came into our room and asked if her nose was broken...I told her it looked straight, but to the emergency room we went.  She kept playing with it, and by the time we got done about 8 hours later, the doctor said it had already set and she would have to get it RE-broken!  She was so angry as with all her horrible racing wrecks, they had fixed her face and now she had a crooked nose from falling in the dorm hall!!!


06/05/10 10:20 PM #2    

Angela McGuire (Harris) (1985)

Graduation was going to be a windy night and a special assembly was called. I remember Barge going on and on about proper behavior and what would and would not be allowed. He explained that the actual diplomas would not be given out and those would come in the mail. He explained that if you misbehaved your ass would be in summer school and you would not be getting yours.

My mind started to wonder as it often did. I started to think four days until I am free four days until my life can begin. Most of you did not know but my home life was hell and Colleen taught me to fight back. She fought for every minute and she lived everyday and moment to the fullest. She helped me with a plane to escape and I was going over that plan in my head.

Barge said something about hats and I thought I better pay attention as that was a strange thing to be talking about. He talked about the wind and hats and how he wanted us to use every bobby pen, clip, hair tie, and hat pin we could get our hands on. It seemed he would not tolerate hats blowing everywhere and kids chasing them all over the place. This it seemed would be yet another reason you would not recieve your diploma.

Colleen raises her hand and smiles.

Barge says "What?"

"What if you ain't got no hair?" she asked.

"Velcro it! he shouts back.

The whole assembly bust out laughing me included and Barge contiunues on.

Flash to the graduation and Colleen with her hat actually valcroed to her head. It was so Colleen the ability to laugh at herself and to give it all she had. She was a true friend who I met in the fifth grade when I went to the Gerber school with a friend. We rode horses together and how I loved to watch her ride. She had a quick wit and made me laugh until I cried. I miss her everyday and think about her often. She taught me how to fight back, how to charish life,and how short life can be. I have tried to live my life with this thought in mind in honor of her.

My husband, childern, and friends all know you don't leave without first saying  "I love you."

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