Colette M. Foster (Gilroy)

Colette M. Foster (Gilroy), 69, passed away on December 3, 2015 at the KU Medical Center. She was born in 1946 in Vinton, Iowa, the first of seven children of John J. and Pauline J. Gilroy (Giffin). She graduated from Eudora High School and St. Margaret’s School of Nursing in Kansas City, Kansas. She married Robert Stephen Foster in June, 1968. They later divorced. Colette worked her entire professional career as an emergency room nurse at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, the U.S. Naval Hospital, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, 15 years at the KU Medical Center and 25 plus years at the VA Hospital in Kansas City, MO. She was preceded in death by her father, and her brothers in-law, Randy Johnson and Alan Loria. She is survived by her mother of Eudora, KS, and her siblings, Carolyn Crews (Rick), Basehor, Cathy Johnson, rural Eudora, Connie Gilroy (Chip McConnell), Lawrence, Cyrilla Loria, rural Lawrence, J.C. Gilroy (Linda) Lawrence, and Jim Gilroy (Sheryl), rural Eudora. She is also survived by nine nieces and nephews and twelve great nieces and nephews. Colette was smart, generous and compassionate and had a great sense of humor. She will be deeply missed by her family and friends. The family wishes to express their deep appreciation to the physicians, nurses, and staff at the KU Medical Center for their excellent care of Colette during her last few weeks.

A visitation will be held from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Saturday, December 12, 2015 at Warren-McElwain Mortuary – Eudora Chapel in Eudora, KS. Memorial contributions may be made in her name to the charity of donor’s choice and may be sent in care of the mortuary.


15 Condolences

  1. Connie Snider on December 5, 2015 at 9:17 am

    Colette was smart and funny. She was always a joy to be around. So glad she made it to our 50th class reunion. Everyone was very happy to see her. I’m sure you have the angels in stitches already. Rest in peace.

  2. Rozann Nusbaum Wadleigh on December 5, 2015 at 9:46 am

    I am so happy that I was able to see Colette and visit with her, at our 50th high school class reunion. Everyone was so happy to see her. I went through grade school and high school, with Colette. She was a friend, very intelligent, and oh that sense of humor. No one could ever think of Colette without smiling because she always made you smile or laugh aloud. She was a master of one liners. I always knew she had to be a wonderful, caring nurse; you could see those qualities in her even as a young girl. She will be missed by many. I am honored to have known her. My condolences to her wonderful mother and siblings. Rozann Nusbaum Wadleigh

  3. Colette Roth on December 5, 2015 at 11:25 am

    I’ve been fortunate to know this family and be included on many of their gatherings. I’m so very sorry about Colette. She was a very caring lady and will be missed. Love and prayers to all of her family and friends.

  4. Marilyn Altemus on December 6, 2015 at 10:16 am

    What a great loss. I went through all twelve years of school with her and always enjoyed her sense of humor. I got to see her last year at our 50th reunion and she still had it. I know with her caring and humorous personality she made a fantastic nurse. My heart and prayers go out to her family I know she will be missed. Look out heaven here she comes!!!

  5. Charles Douglas on December 7, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Working with Colette at the Kansas City VA was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I learned something from her every day. She always brought in groceries for us from Costco on the weekends to make sure we could eat snacks while working. She was an avid KU basket ball fan. We could talk about the games and she would go into great detail about each player and coach on the team. She always tried to take employees to the basketball games. She was well known for the marching Jay hawks painted on the tailgate of her truck.She purchased socks and gloves for patients. She loved Turner Classic movies. She also enjoyed chocolate covered cherries during the Christmas holidays. Our hearts are heavy at the VA. She will be missed.

  6. Esther rogers on December 7, 2015 at 10:10 am

    I was a nursing supervisor at St. Margaret’s Hospital when Colette was a nursing student. We supplemented our staffing with nursing students who wanted to work on their days off. I could always count on Colette to help out on short notice.
    I think that I remember her most for her sense of humor and friendliness(both great qualities for a nurse to possess.)

    I got to visit with her again when I worked at the VA. I am sure that she will be missed by many.
    Esther Rogers

  7. Nancy Holloway on December 8, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    Colette was my nurse mentor when I started as a nursing student in the KU Med Center ER and later when I worked there as an RN. She was an excellent nurse and role model. She could keep her cool and make us laugh during any high stress situation. Colette was known to be able to start IV’s on our most difficult patients. She shared her season Royals tickets with us. Colette was one of the funniest people I have ever met. Losing her is a terrible loss to the VA and to her friends and patients.

  8. Mary Cornish on December 8, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    I was sorry to hear of Collette’s passing. She was an amazing nurse and always made me laugh. It was as if it was her God given talent to make me laugh. She was so smart and an excellent nurse. Her fan club will miss her until we meet again….

  9. MICHELLE COLEMAN on December 10, 2015 at 2:03 pm


  10. Stephanie Thompson on December 10, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    I knew Colette from the KU ER when I was a student and then worked with her at the VA for as many years as she was there.
    She educated many a medicine and surgery resident during her ER work. She had a knack of letting you know what needed to be done when you personally did not have a clue and did so in a constructive manner. I was always happy to see her when I came for my shift because I knew that she would keep things moving and that there would be funny moments also. I will never know a better nurse.

    She was an advocate for the veteran patients and generous beyond words. I know she gave cab fare to many veterans in need. She had a personal stash of snacks she would give when needed.
    She kept new white crew socks in her locker and would give them to the homeless vets who came in without socks when it was cold.

    I was the recipient of Royals and KU basketball tickets and enjoyed very much going to the games with my family and her.

    She fought her illness with dignity and she endured so much. I will miss her.

  11. jim otto on December 10, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    i have not seen Colette in over twenty years but have never forgotten her-an incredibly bright witty person and one of the best nurses i have worked with in my thirty years of practice-she carried many a doctor on her back through their training and practice including myself–what a terrible loss but a life well-lived

  12. Lisa Traver on December 10, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    Our deepest sympathies to you all on Colette’s passing. My best memory is sitting in the back of Cyrilla’s house during Al’s birthday party and discussing how to best color one’s hair! I know dorky but we laughed a lot. Tom enjoyed talking KU basketball with her while she was recovering from her knee surgery at Cyrilla’s. She was smart and had a wry sense of humor. We are so sorry for your loss. Lisa and Tom

  13. genelle denneny on December 12, 2015 at 9:49 am

    My condolences to the Gilroy family….

  14. Jane alley on December 12, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    I worked with Colette at the VA- she was a great nurse who took loving care of her patients. She was also a wonderful person with a great sense of humor and a wonderful personality. Sorry I can’t be there today to honor her. I was sad for us when she retired but happy for her. She will be missed

  15. Paul S Ross on November 21, 2022 at 4:06 pm

    I worked as an Emergency Room Tech with Colette at KU Med. Center, 1970: she introduced me to Nursing and inspired me to become an RN. She was my friend and my mentor. Elegant under pressure, she was smart, organized, and hard-working. I am saddened to learn of her passing.

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