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Cancer Claims Colleen Womack, Wife of Novato's First Mayor

Since 1951, she and her husband, Wayne, were extraordinary contributors to the development and growth of the city before and after it became incorporated in 1960.

By Craig Womack

How do you ever capture a lifetime of love, travel, relationships, babies, children growing up, marriage, reflections, occurrences, chance meetings, serendipity or feelings in a few paragraphs?

Colleen Mary Womack, of Novato, passed away at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday,  Oct. 21. She was 82 years old.

Vibrant, everybody’s friend, wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother, Colleen went through her life with a proud and upright posture and a sparkle in her eyes. She had the gift of understanding fashion, flair, design, color, fabrics, art and comfort. She was a consummate seamstress, cook, volunteer, performer, wife, life partner and mother. She had a gift for song and friendship.

Colleen was born Feb. 5, 1930, in Mt. Vernon, Wash., and moved with her family to Southern California when she was in her early teens. She and her husband Wayne were married in 1948 and moved to Novato in 1951, where they established roots and became extraordinary contributors to the development and growth of the city.

The disease that took her life was lung cancer. Stage 4. Not curable. Devastating. She passed away at her home, as her five children, three grandchildren and her husband Wayne were holding her. She was in her surroundings. She was as comfortable as one could be under such unforgiving circumstances. The light from the afternoon sun was shining brightly on her as she passed.

It is a complete understatement to say that her family, her friends and the world will miss Colleen. While she was alive, she brought a sense of love, order and humanity to all she came in contact with. With her passing, we know that her spirit will live on with her desire to protect her family, be a friend to everyone and simply make the world a better place. Her husband, Wayne Womack, their five children, Craig, Diane, Elaine, Jennifer and Matthew, eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren, survive her.

Colleen’s memorial service was held at Valley Memorial Park in Novato on Oct. 25. At her request, only her immediate family attended her ceremony, including her husband, Wayne Womack, 83; sons Craig Womack, 62, spouse of Gail Womack, and Matthew Womack, 56, spouse of Sandy Womack, all of Novato; daughter Diane Michaelis, 61, spouse of Mike Michaelis of Los Gatos; daughter Elaine Womack, 59, spouse of Myra Bicknell of Mountain View; and daughter Jennifer Kelley, 58, spouse of Mike Kelley of Petaluma.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to Hospice By The Bay or the Novato Rotary Foundation.

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