Colleen Ann Sullivan-McNeive

On Tuesday, March 2nd 2021, Colleen Ann Sullivan-McNeive was born into eternal life at the age of 65.

Colleen was born on November 26, 1955 to Michael B. and Vivian Sullivan. Colleen would go on to graduate from Blue Valley High School and Emporia State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. Colleen would marry Dan McNeive April 6 2002 on a sunny day in Florida.

Known as the family historian, she knew all of her extended family members near and far. Colleen was able to be a part of the lives of many different students while working in education. She taught physical education at Rossville and Saint Mary’s Elementary School. Most recently Colleen was a para-educator at Lawrence High School. Colleen loved all the students she taught over the years and remembered every single one, and especially loved her special education students at Lawrence High. As a lover of sports, she was always ready to cheer on her Chesty Lions and Kansas Jayhawks. Colleen was known for her strong faith and compassionate nature. She never met a stranger. Colleen was also a volunteer at her church Corpus Christi Catholic Church, as well as L.I.N.K and Just Food. Although Colleen is no longer here with us physically, her spirit and the impact she made on her community will live on.

Colleen is proceeded in death by husband Dan, and her parents Michael and Vivian. She is survived by two brothers, Mike (Julie) Sullivan and Kelly (Cristy) Sullivan, as well as one sister Kim (Russ) Tonnies, seven nieces and nephews, seven great-nieces, many beloved cousins, and her two dachshunds Charley and Riley.

Funeral services will be held at Corpus Christi Catholic Church Saturday, March 6th, 2021 at 11:00 am, please visit for registration details. The service will also be livestreamed at the web address:

In lieu of flowers the family is asking donations to be sent to L.I.N.K or Just Food in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.

The family would like to give a special thank you to Kelly and Cristy Sullivan and Carol and Rick Shelton for their loving care and support, especially over the last few months.

56 Condolences

  1. sheryl sanders on March 3, 2021 at 8:00 am

    First let me say how very sorry I am for your loss. Colleen was so special, always so supportive, so kind, we all loved her dearly . I’m at a loss for words but just know how special we all think she is.

    Sheryl Sanders

  2. Gayla Waymire on March 3, 2021 at 8:14 am

    I’m so sad to hear of Colleen’s passing. My sincere sympathy to her family. Colleen was so fun and kind and just wonderful. We are all better for having known her and she will be missed by so many.

  3. Nancy Murphy on March 3, 2021 at 11:06 am

    Just heard about Colleen. What great memories of her and the Sullivan family. They were are our neighbors in Stanley Ks and Colleen babysat our children.
    Please know we are thinking of you and continued prayers

  4. Dixie Freeman on March 3, 2021 at 12:45 pm

    I will miss Colleen so much! A wonderful, caring and funny lady❤

  5. Nicoyia Madden on March 3, 2021 at 1:07 pm

    Colleen is so loved and cared for by all of us at LHS! She had a huge impact on those she worked with as well as her students❤️ Although it was not as long as many of our fellow coworkers, I am so very thankful that I got to work with such an amazing and funny lady. Once a Lion, always a Lion!????❤️

  6. Sean Smith on March 3, 2021 at 2:23 pm

    Received the unexpected message about Colleen’s sudden passing. I had the fortunate opportunity to meet Colleen six years ago when my son, Nolan, began his freshman year at Lawrence High School. Colleen was one of Nolan’s paraeducators. Very quickly, we realized she was sooo much more. When we had questions, she had the answers. When we needed assistance, it was provided. Very quickly, Colleen became an essential part of Nolan’s High School experience. After his freshman year, Nolan moved on from the support Colleen was providing. And yet, during the remainder of Nolan’s high school years, she was a constant in his life. Always ready to assist, greeting Nolan time and again, and serving as a huge cheerleader throughout Nolan’s time at Lawrence High School. Eternal rest grant unto her Oh Lord and let perpetual life shine upon her may she rest in peace.

  7. Sarah Browning on March 3, 2021 at 2:43 pm

    My heart broke hearing this news. I met Colleen in Gardner when we worked together. She was the kind soul who helped show the new girl around. After she lost Dan and made the decision to move to Lawrence, I was happy to know we’d still see each other, around town and at church. She always kept up with how my kiddos were doing and made sure to check in with me and them about how our week was going. She was the first one to welcome us back to Corpus Christi after the pandemic began and in her kind and sweet way made us feel comfortable again. I will miss catching up with her every week and seeing her welcoming face at mass. I take comfort knowing she is now reunited Dan. Big hugs to the entire family.

  8. Becky Torneden-Johnson on March 3, 2021 at 2:55 pm

    My heart is so heavy right now for the loss of such a dear friend that I feel truly blessed to have not only in my life but my families life! Colleen, many tears are being shed by so many that love you and are going to miss you. You have been such a cheerleader and inspiration for so many students at LHS as well as for Camren, Haley and Bryce. We will forever remember all your love and support!!! May you be remembered for the laughter, love, knowledge and compassion that you brought into our lives. You will now have the best seats possible to watch LHS and KU games and even former students that play in the NFL. Rest in peace and THANK YOU for being such an amazing friend!

  9. Ann Marie Foster on March 3, 2021 at 3:18 pm

    I am so deeply sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine LHS without her in the halls. I will miss her smile and laughter

  10. Brenda Parrish on March 3, 2021 at 4:23 pm

    Colleen will be missed so much. She was such a fun and giving person. She did not know a stranger! I met her when she started working at the Lawrence Office. She brought Charley and Riley over to meet our new dog, when we adopted Wyatt, to help him with his social skills. She was a wonderful co-worker and made the stressful work a little more fun with her humor and outlook.

  11. Tom Taylor on March 3, 2021 at 4:41 pm

    Dear Mike, Kim and Kelly….I’m so, so very sorry to hear about Colleen’s passing! She was truly one of a kind and I know she will be missed so very much by all of you. We shared so many good times as next door neighbors…and I can’t imagine what my childhood would have been like, without having her and the rest of the Sullivans living next door.

    I don’t think there was ever a time that Colleen couldn’t make me laugh!

    Sending much love to all of you during your time of sadness and grief.

  12. Cindi McCaleb on March 3, 2021 at 4:58 pm

    Dang it, Co!! We were looking forward to many more excursions!! You were a true and loyal friend for many years! I will always love you, our memories and remember you with great fondness! You took me under your wing in St. Marys & when I moved to Lawrence! I am forever grateful for your years of true friendship. Rock Chalk and thank you for introducing me to Bill!! Always a Chesty Lion! I Love you, friend….See ya someday! Cindi Mac

  13. Marcia Snippy Knoche on March 3, 2021 at 5:03 pm

    Mike, Kim and Kelly, so sorry to hear about Colleen. Every time I think of her I smile and remember seeing her as a little Stanley Marooner cheerleader mascot. Your family holds special memories of Stanley KS for the Shippy and Knoche families. Keeping you all close in our hearts and prayers. God bless.

  14. David Steele on March 3, 2021 at 5:08 pm

    The hours, the days, the years that we spent together.
    I have probably spent more time with Colleen than any other person.

    Oh, Colleen….the stories that we could tell.
    You know that I love you.

    Dear Kim, Kelly, Mike and the entire Sullivan family,
    Thank you for being a part of my life. Thank you for sharing Colleen.

  15. Diana Gulley on March 3, 2021 at 5:22 pm

    Lots of good memories! I will miss you my friend.
    Diana Gulley

  16. Debby (Shippy) Hays-Wilson on March 3, 2021 at 5:50 pm

    Mike, Kim, and Kelly, so very sorry for your loss. Colleen was a shiny star, and never new a stranger. I was blessed in knowing her at Stanley High School where we both were Cheerleaders! Boy if we didn’t have Fun at practices and such. She was always in on all the f un and craziness!! Loved her smile and laugh. so blessed to have been her friend, and grew up in Stanley knowing the Sullivan family. Bless her heart, she will be greatly missed. Sending love and prayers to your family. Debby (Shippy) Hays-Wilson

  17. Judy Warren on March 3, 2021 at 6:30 pm

    Colleen was truly a treasure and touched so many lives – including mine. I had the pleasure of working with her at SRS/DCF, and we formed a lasting friendship.
    Rest In Peace my sweet friend ❤️

  18. Kim Keane on March 3, 2021 at 7:05 pm

    Colleen I loved the way you were the heartbeat of the SRS/DCF and knew your way around the recipients and told it like it was. You are a true hero to me and to all the recipients that had the pleasure of working with you. May you rest well with Dan in paradise. Prayers to your family.

  19. Mike Norris on March 3, 2021 at 7:39 pm

    You were a special lady, loved by many, and you touched more hearts than you’ll ever know.

  20. Barb Marstall Brockamp on March 3, 2021 at 8:21 pm

    Oh Colleen–you were the Thelma to my Louise! We had a lot of good times together, from tanning on the patio with margaritas to champagne on New Years Day fun at your house. I will always be grateful to you for introducing Mark to me. You brought sunshine and laughter to everyone you came in contact with–I am forever blessed to have been able to call you my good friend. Rest easy–we will meet again someday. Love you!

  21. Becky Gregg on March 3, 2021 at 8:29 pm

    Colleen was a wonderful co-worker at the Gardner Walmart. Fly high friend

  22. Abby Sofianopoulos on March 3, 2021 at 8:34 pm

    Colleen was an amazing woman. I worked with her at the Gardner Wal-Mart and always looked forward to working with her. She always made my day better! She made the world a better place and we were lucky to have her. Prayers to the family for their loss.

  23. Jacki Bisterfeldt on March 3, 2021 at 9:13 pm

    It’s heartwarming to see Colleens friends and colleagues from the last 30-35 years
    Loved her and spoke of her exactly as those who were her friends and family from her college years at Emporia State. She worked for us at her main watering hole: The Store ! She and Tena and a band of party hardy friends were die hard friends of FYRE a local Kansas band and my husband Richard was the leader and owner of the
    Store. It was a great time for all of us and I was especially saddened when I heard of her passing. I understand the many losses she had suffered…. we lost Richard my husband,in 2015 along with his dad, my brother Dave and just recently John Richard who was the longest member, besides Richard. I know Colleen is in a better place and God knows she left a legacy of love and understanding to all of us. She was a lover of music and dance! So play any Eagles or Lenard Skynard songs and you’ll feel a slight breeze around you and know Colleen is doing her dances as she watches over all of us.

  24. Hope Alexander-Hart on March 3, 2021 at 11:04 pm

    Ms. Sullivan,

    You gave me confidence to believe in myself. You will always be remembered in my heart! ❤️

  25. Cindy Rezac Walker on March 3, 2021 at 11:07 pm

    Miss Sullivan was my one constant teacher from Kindergarten through 8th grade for PE. She also coached me in Junior High sports. So many memories just keep coming to mind, she exuded joy. I remember her smile and her laugh. I remember running laps after KU vs. KSU basketball games when KU won and the thrill of sitting there watching the KU fans run if K-State happened to win. I remember so many fun games and activities, like scooters, pac man and snowball. I remember the awkwardness of square dancing. No matter what we were doing she made it fun and I always wanted to try my best in her class. Even when my best was far from THE best in the class, she appreciated the effort and didn’t make me feel ashamed.

    She made sure we didn’t just play different sports, she made sure we knew the positions and the rules of the sports. It really makes watching sports like football that I never played a lot more enjoyable.

    In Junior High Track when I was running the 800 a ways behind our top runner, she cheered so hard for me coming down that stretch using an inside joke between us, shouting, “Cindy, tornado, tornado, run Cindy!” She didn’t care what people thought or that it was perfectly sunny and 1st place was already decided. She was going to cheer me to that finish line, because she cheered on and cared for every single one of her students and athletes. That’s who she was and I was honored to have known her.

    My prayers and condolences go out to the family and to the many people who knew and loved Colleen as a colleague, student or friend. I know she will be missed by many.

  26. Brenda Hall Smitha on March 4, 2021 at 1:07 am

    I remember when we realized you graduated with my sister, Vicki, and that I was her Baby sister. I’m going to miss you sweet lady. I can’t believe you’re gone!
    You always watched out for me at work, and I will be forever grateful. RIP Sweet Lady! Until we meet again.

  27. Amelia (Newman) Templeton on March 4, 2021 at 4:58 am

    Colleen was a wonderful person and her loss is felt far and wide. Sending love and prayers to her family and friends.

  28. Robin Gaschler on March 4, 2021 at 6:31 am

    Colleen welcomed me into her home about 30 years ago, and she has continued to show me what it looks like to live life with love, faith, compassion and acceptance. She has helped countless people in so many ways, myself and my family included. I’m proud to be a member of Co’s Gang. The Rock Chalk game is strong in heaven now! Much love from Bobby!

  29. Carladyne Conyers on March 4, 2021 at 7:27 am

    Carladyne Conyers:
    To Colleen’s family you were blessed to have a wonderful sister with such a fabulous love for people. She was a great friend as I met her at DCF when she first came to the Lawrence Office and we hit it off and instantly became Jayhawk Buddies and Lawrence Lions. Her love and passion for the students she worked with at Lawrence High was absolutely so rewarding.
    Colleen you’ll be missed by everyone that knew you and missed not knowing you.
    You now have the front row seat to cheer the Jayhawks. Your wonderful love of life is going to be missed.

  30. Mary on March 4, 2021 at 8:23 am

    Kim, Russ and family of Colleen,
    We are sorry for your loss.
    God rest her soul.
    Mary and Jerry Hitpas

  31. Ronda Grace on March 4, 2021 at 10:03 am

    Mike, Jule, Kim, Russ, Kelly, Cristy,
    I am so sorry for your loss. Colleen was a unique person. Colleen and I were KU football buddies. I have many good memories going to the football games with her.

  32. Sylvia Trevino-Maack on March 4, 2021 at 11:51 am

    You’re a very special angel Colleen! You made everyone feel comfortable even when you were straight-up scolding us when we deserved to be scolded! Always keeping it real and giving us the vibe that we knew you for much longer than the 6 years you were at Lawrence High. A true, bonafide Chesty Lion, we were blessed to have you there. I’m also super proud of your active involvement in our Parish. Corpus will miss you greatly as well! Watch out for our Chesty kids from up there, they need you still!

  33. Betty Kay Grubb on March 4, 2021 at 11:58 am

    Mike, Kelly, Kim and families.
    I am having problems believing that Colleen is gone. She was an awesome person to everyone. I now have another hole in my heart. She was a great 1st cousin. She always kept me up to date on things. I love her so very much.

  34. Dana Laudick on March 4, 2021 at 12:32 pm

    Had meant Colleen through a mutual friend. I was blessed to have known her but so wish I had got to spend more time with her.

  35. Diane Owen on March 4, 2021 at 12:34 pm

    Unlike many others, I only knew Coleen while working at Lawrence HIgh School, but she was always friendly and made me welcome in large and overwhelming environment. She was everyone’s best friend and we are all missing her presence daily.

  36. Mary Kennedy on March 4, 2021 at 2:53 pm

    Mike, Julie, Kim, Russ, Kelly, and Cristy, even though I am in Houston preparing for surgery tomorrow I am thinking about all of you. I loved Colleen so much (I even named my daughter after her!) and I’m so glad she was my cousin. She took me under her wing when we were kids and we enjoyed lots of fun when Mom and Aunt Diddie weren’t around. My kids loved going to her house at Easter because she made what was kind of a boring holiday into lots of fun–even when we celebrated it at the tavern in St. Marys because the weather was too bad to have it at her house. And she was always fun at my house for Thanksgiving and I could count on her to bring her wild rice casserole. She made me laugh all through my life and I always felt like she made space for me to be one of the gang. I think she probably did that for lots of other folks too. Love you guys and sorry I won’t be there with you to celebrate Colleen’s life but I will be thinking about you all.

  37. Barbara and Dennis Hutchinson in Circleville, KS 66416 on March 4, 2021 at 6:57 pm

    When Coleen was a physical education teacher at St.Marys Elementary, I was the school librarian and we “special” teachers had several “crossover” events…like author’s celebrations and Dr.Seuss day. She was a leader in USD # 321, such as the Olympics program that we did on the school track depicting the various countries participating . It was so much fun and educational too. Our students and staff benefited from her presence and know there will be celebrations in heaven. It was an added bonus when I found out that her brother Kelly was in the same Emporia State Fraternity as my son Doug Brown.. God Bless you and your family.
    Former Colleague, Barbara (Brown) Hutchinson

  38. Barbara and Dennis Hutchinson in Circleville, KS 66416 on March 4, 2021 at 8:37 pm

    When Coleen was a physical education teacher at the St.Marys Elementary, I was the School Library Media Specialist and we “special” teachers participated in several “crossover” author’s celebrators and Dr.Seuss day. She was a leader in USD #321, such as helping organize the Olympics program that we had on the school track depicting the various countries . It was so much fun and educational too. Our students and staff benefited from her presence and know there will be a celebration in heaven. It was an added b onus when I found out that her brother Kelly was in the same Fraternity at Emporia State University as my son Doug Brown. God Bless you and our family.
    Former Colleague, Barbara (Brown) Hutchinson

  39. Ann McCullough on March 4, 2021 at 9:43 pm

    We will always remember you by your smile, your dedication to all kids that you came in contact with, and your ability to make everyone in your presence feel important. Rest easy….until we meet again.
    Ann & Toby McCullough

  40. Mindy Dechant on March 5, 2021 at 10:20 am

    I had the pleasure of working with Colleen at LHS. I remember her coming out to the Douglas County Fairgrounds on a hot summer day to set up a time to help me move from room 119 to room 100. Colleen was always there to lend a helping hand and loved the kids in my class so very much. She always asked me about my family and would ask me how my parents were doing as well. I will miss her smile and her laugh. RIP I will miss you very much.

    Mindy Dechant

  41. Katie Becker Kramer on March 5, 2021 at 10:26 am

    Colleen was as warm to students as she was to adults. Whenever I subbed at LHS Colleen showed me the ropes. This included a stint as a P.E. Sub when Colleen should have taught and I should have assisted. Great smile and laugh. You will be sorely missed!

  42. Pat Verschelden on March 5, 2021 at 12:19 pm

    As we all know, Colleen was beautifully unique in the way she offered friendship to everyone she met. If she didn’t know you when she walked into a school room or a court or arena or airplane, chances were good that Colleen and you would have made a connection before the day was done.

    Colleen enhanced the lives of so many. “Love isn’t love until you give it away.”

  43. Amy Laytimi on March 5, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    Colleen was such a vibrant and friendly person. She had a profoundly positive impact on everyone she worked with—students and adults. She will be dearly missed by all who had the fortune of knowing her.

  44. Sis & Wilbur Stum, Jr. on March 5, 2021 at 12:30 pm

    So very sad to hear of Colleen’s passing. She was a great teacher, friend & special person!! It was our honor to have known her! Rest In Peace Sweet Lady & God Speed…….❤️????❤️????❤️
    Love from the Stum’s
    Sis, Wilbur, Jr.
    Mick, Tami & Haylie Jo

  45. Cecil & Kay Wehr on March 5, 2021 at 3:51 pm

    Kelly & Cristy, So very sorry to hear about Colleen. What a breath of fresh air as we entered Corpus on Sunday morning, there she was smiling and welcoming all who entered. She truly was an exceptional person. and her passing leaves a void for everyone who knew her. May God welcome her with open arms, and may her memory bring smiles to you who loved her.

  46. Laurel Riggin on March 5, 2021 at 5:21 pm

    Kim, Kelly and Mike,
    Having a hard time writing this. I met Colleen at ESU. We were in the same dorm and then began our series of apartment living. I think we moved every semester. I have many fun and fond memories of those days. New Years Eve was always spent in Salina, KS as the band “Fyre” always played there. And then The Texas Tom days. I am so thankful to have known Colleen. She spoke of her family often and I know she so dearly loved you. I will miss her even though it got to be only on facebook . So grateful to have known Colleen. Rest in Peace. Laurel Riggin (Cookie)

  47. Tena Hawkins on March 5, 2021 at 9:08 pm

    To my dear “old” friend Colleen,
    We met in the hallway of the 4th Floor of Northeast Dorm at Kansas State Teachers College (ESU). I can truly say that after 47 years… I consider myself very lucky to have been able to call You my friend.
    Colleen was a stranger to no one. Even if we were 300 miles away from home, she would still run into someone she knew, or knew their brother, their cousin or their Mom. Her devotion to God and her Family was always inspiring. I will miss you Colleen and we will have some catching up to do when I get there.

    To Mike, Kimmie, Kelly and the rest of the Sullivan Clan,
    I’m am so sorry for your loss of Colleen. I pray that God will bring all of you comfort and peace in the coming days. Please hold your memories of Colleen close to your hearts.
    Love to all of you!!
    Tena (Brown) Hawkins, Tom & Cameron Hawkins

  48. Shelley M. Vann on March 5, 2021 at 10:41 pm

    Was a great co-worker and wonderful friend who always was ready to help you out in whatever you needed. I will miss your sweet spirit, and your kindness you showed to me. You made working with you so much fun. I will forever hold you in my heart. I thank God for blessing me to know you.
    Your friend,
    Shelley Vann

  49. Darcie Rezac Stricker on March 6, 2021 at 12:04 am

    Ms. Sullivan (Sully) has forever been apart of my life and was always one of my favorites. When my mom passed away in 1996 I was just a lost 5th grader, Sully made it a point to step in and be there for me , but our relationship started way before then I owe so much to this woman. I will never forget her huge smile and tight hugs. Love you Sully

  50. Kennedy Family on March 6, 2021 at 6:25 am

    RIP Colleen, much love from your Emmett cousins., Joe, Debby and Bill Kennedy

  51. Cara Aaron on March 6, 2021 at 10:04 am

    Colleen, you are a true friend with a big heart. I was so lucky to get to work with you at SRS and am grateful that we remained friends afterward. I will miss you.
    My condolences to Colleen’s family, I know how much you meant to her.

  52. Kiley Luckett on March 6, 2021 at 11:55 am

    I am a better person for knowing you. Your love, kindness, joy, and spirit live on. The mark you made on all will never fade. Thank you for all the kindness.

  53. Janice Cartwright on March 7, 2021 at 7:53 am

    Colleen, you have a big smile and a bigger heart. You never met a stranger and showed kindness to everyone. Thank you for being a part of my life. RIP my friend.

  54. Steve Carla Ramirez on March 14, 2021 at 8:06 am

    Very sorry to hear about the passing of Colleen. She was so kind and friendly. We talked KU sports, Chiefs and Royals. Will miss seeing her at church and around.
    Steve and Carla Ramirez

  55. Betty MacGowan Lavery on March 14, 2021 at 12:49 pm

    Dear Mike, Kim, and Kelly,
    I was saddened to hear of Colleen’s death. She definitely made the world a brighter place for everyone. I was a lucky beginning teacher because Colleen was the perfect student. She was eager to learn and a hard worker who was liked and respected by all. During her teaching career we would see each other as colleagues at workshops. I’m so glad that we met for lunch several years ago. It was fun to catch up and reminisce about the good old days at Stanley and Blue Valley High. As good friends we picked up where we left off. Colleen still calling me Miss MacGowan. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. With Love

  56. Debbie Vignatelli Konzem on March 18, 2021 at 1:30 am

    Dear Sully & Cristy:

    How heartwarming to read the wonderful tributes from those that loved and admired Colleen. She obvioulsy left a huge mark in the hearts and lives of all who knew her. When we think of Colleen, we will always be reminded of her sincere, caring, friendly greeting each time we met.

    With love and sympathy,
    Debbie and Richard Konzem

    Dearest Colleen: Thank you for your friendship. You are greatly loved and will be sadly missed. Hope by know you have given Brenda a big hug for me. Enjoy your heavenly life.

Leave a Condolence