Colleen O. Mortensen, also known to most as Kelly, passed away unexpectedly on the evening of December 23, 2021. Kelly was born in Wisconsin Rapids on November 25, 1954 to Howard and Amalia (Schiller) Olson. She married Donald L. Mortensen Jr. on April 3, 1982 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wisconsin Rapids. They resided in Grand Rapids for many years until moving to the Town of Rome so they could be closer to their business, D&K Recycling Enterprises, located in the Town of Big Flats.
Kelly worked for many years at Northern Auto Parts in Wisconsin Rapids where she became the first woman in the history of the company to be selected to manage one of their stores. Kelly also managed a Carquest Auto Store when Northern Auto was acquired by them. She left Carquest and went to work at DeChant Buick Dealership in their parts department. After leaving the parts business, she became a vision technician at Walmart in Wisconsin Rapids. Eventually, she joined her husband in their business of recycling refrigerant bearing appliances. Kelly received her Wisconsin DILHR certification to work with refrigerants at Moraine Park Technical College in Fond Du Lac on March 3, 1992. Her hobbies included boating on the Mississippi, painting ceramics, cooking, smoking meats, and playing with her dog, Mya.
Anyone who knew Kelly knows how giving she was. Kelly volunteered with her stepmother, Margaret Olson, at King Veterans Home in Waupaca, logging almost one thousand hours of volunteer time. Kelly always loved children and treated them as her own, especially her nieces and nephews. She would coordinate/host some of the best parties for both kids and adults, particularly the annual Halloween party. Kelly also spent several years as a “Big Sister” to four young ladies, and as of late, day caring for the son of her nephew, which gave her a great deal of satisfaction and happiness.
Kelly was preceded in death by her parents, stepmother, and brother, Randy. She is survived by her husband, Don, sisters Kathy (Dan) Berkholtz, Gail (Carl) Rodock, Cheryl Olson, and brother, Howard (Melissa) Olson, along with several stepbrothers/sisters and many nieces and nephews and their children.
A private family only viewing was held on Friday, December 31, 2021 at Herman- Taylor Funeral Home in Wisconsin Rapids with the interment at Lakeside Cemetery in Waupaca on January 5, 2022.
Kelly will be missed so very much by her family and friends. As many close to her know, she loved Tigger from Winne the Pooh, so the following quote seems fitting and true: “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
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