Colleen R. (Higby) Ewing

Colleen R. (Higby) Ewing


Colleen R. (Higby) Ewing, 86, of Forest City, passed away on Tuesday, September 20, 2022 at Westview Care Center in Britt, Iowa after a very courageous, pain-free battle with cancer.  (In her words, “May we all be so blessed not to have pain”.)


Graveside services for Colleen Ewing will be held at 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 16, 2022 at Oakland Municipal Cemetery, 1445 Highway 69 North in Forest City.  A gathering of family and friends will continue following the graveside service at First Baptist Church, 18508 Highway 9 in Forest City.


Colleen Rachel Higby was born June 14, 1936 to Everett and Dorothy (Reuber) Higby in Odebolt, Iowa. She was raised by her beloved mother and grandmother, along with her sister and two aunts – “A house full of mighty women” as she used to say. A 1954 graduate from Odebolt High School and proud member of the Rainbow Girls Club along with many recognitions in basketball, chorus, band, class plays & cheerleading. Her senior high school yearbook quote: “Better to be small and shine than to be large and cast a shadow.”


Colleen worked various jobs in Odebolt including the Princess movie theater popping popcorn, Watt’s Drugstore as a “soda jerk” making phosphates, then Albrecht’s Café’ when she met a young newspaper man who worked for The Chronicle named Claude Ewing. Later, she worked at Noyd’s Oil Company when the couple married and moved to Wapello, Iowa for a newspaper promotion, she loved everything about the “Mighty Mississippi”. Eventually, they made their home in Forest City, where Claude continued as newspaper foreman at the Forest City Summit. Together, they raised their three children, Kent, Julie and Lori, in Forest City. Colleen decided to join Claude at the Summit as bookkeeper after being a homemaker for many years, and later a childcare provider at A Child’s World, then the Forest City Dry Cleaners prior to retirement. Even then, she still adored caring for children whether it was her children’s friends, neighbor kids, nieces, nephews, cousins, or her many grandkids – everyone was treated just like her own very loved children.


The family spent summers camping and fishing, most notably, trips to the Noka Sippi resort in Minnesota and a trip to Canada. The family also enjoyed cross-country skiing in the Winter. Colleen cherished her short time as a Girl Scout leader when Julie was young, helping when Claude or Kent got a deer with the processing, or attending many activities and outings with Lori. She was often seen walking everywhere she went, especially with her beloved dogs, mostly because she didn’t drive, but also because it was therapeutic for her. Colleen also spent most of her free time crafting, gardening, canning – especially “Grandma’s Famous Pickles”, she adored her craft bazaars around the area and most of all tending to her flowers, most which had come from her childhood home. She was known by many generations for her knitted Barbie clothing. Her last fully completed knitting project took place in 2019, and her last partially completed project was a knit afghan for her most recent grandson born in 2020, which is lovingly framed in a shadowbox, including the knitting needles and a precious tag that said how her hands couldn’t do it anymore even though her heart wanted to finish – may this be a reminder that love never stops even in sickness or death.


Colleen will be remembered for her kindness, hospitality, love of family and friends, and her love of yellow smiley faces. She fondly reminisced of her meager upbringing with pride in her background history of the Freese, Luft, Godbersen & Gronemeyer family connections along with many other loved ones, and how her family had raised popcorn that was sold to the Jolly Time Popcorn Company. She made sure the coffee pot was always ready for visitors and treated everyone with love, compassion, respect, and empathy, just as her beloved grandmother had taught her.


Colleen is survived by her daughters, Julie (Rick) Kern of Dolliver and Lori Ewing of Forest City; her grandchildren, Kent’s sons Brad (Nicole) Ewing, Andrew (Beth) Ewing and Cory Ewing; Julie’s children Ryan Ewing, Christina Kern, Richelle Kern and Amanda Kern; and Lori’s children Anthony “AJ” (Taylor) Krutsinger, Spencer Krutsinger, Dylan Krutsinger, Colby Krutsinger and Breylan Krutsinger; twelve great-grandchildren plus one on the way, and a bonus granddaughter who was always lovingly considered as family; siblings Sandy (Kyle) McGonigle of Des Moines, Ron (Lynette) Higby of Rockford, Iowa, Leonard (Jean) Higby of Gering, Nebraska and Rhonda Higby of Rockford, Iowa; her beloved aunts Grace Long of Rockford, Iowa and Helen (Jim)Schumburg of Rockford, Iowa; along with sister in-law Marge (Ewing) Johnson of Iowa Falls and brother in-law Paul “Shorty” Peterson of Boxholm, numerous nieces and nephews, other special relatives and friends. 


Colleen was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Claude Ewing on December 14, 1994 and her son Kent Ewing on February 14, 2020; other beloved family & in-laws who were all her relatives.


Condolences along with memories that you shared with Colleen or the family may be sent to the Ewing Funeral Home, either via their website or by mail at P.O. Box 342, Britt, Iowa, 50423


Even if a memory pops up long after her celebration of life service, please feel free to share, this is how healing takes place, losing our very beloved Mom/Grandma is going to take a lot of healing. The Ewing’s at Ewing Funeral Home have graciously cared for us for many years and their care doesn’t stop once the service is complete, they are family too, and they are still taking care of us as we continue to heal from the sudden loss of our brother just a couple short years ago.


“May we all have eyes to see the good in every day.”

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