Colleen Georgianna Birch Smith was born on July 16, 1931 to Harriet and Drexel Birch, in Salt Lake City. She died from lung cancer on Thanksgiving at home in Moab.
She married Kenneth W. Jenks, a playwright, in 1952. They had three children: Kenneth, Nancy and Kevin.
During this time they energetically promoted the goals of the Beat Generation while becoming a Civil Rights activist. She joined Martin Luther King’s March on Washington and volunteered with the NAACP in Salt Lake City.
She obtained her bachelor’s degree August 1965 and went to teach in Lark, Utah. She taught emotionally disturbed children. She and Kenneth divorced.
She married Victor Smith March 6, 1971. Victor and Colleen became volunteers with The Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA) an organization that has been involved with community development initiatives. They served together in Chicago and Cusick, Washington building sustainable housing. After Vic passed away in 1981, Colleen continued with the ICA serving in Surabaya, Indonesia and Nuku’alofa, Tonga developing preschools on the Islands. Colleen lived in Denver where she continued in social services working for Denver Urban Ministries until her retirement.
Colleen moved to Moab in 2007 where she enjoyed the Rock Ridge Senior Housing community and the visits of her great grandchildren, Gabriel and Anna Woodard. She continued her political activism in the form of campaigning for Fair Boundaries, opposing the Middle East Military Excursions and being involved in local politics.
She is survived by children Carl (Jennie) Smith, Kenneth (Lois Boomer) Jenks, Nancy (Richard) Owen and Kevin (Shirley) Jenks; nine grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
A memorial service was held 10 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 27 at the St. Francis Episcopal Church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Moab Multicultural Center, 156 N. 100 west, Moab Utah, 84532 or the San Francisco Translation Service c/o St. Francis Episcopal Church, 250 South, Kane creek Blvd, Moab Utah. 84532
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.SpanishValleyMortuary.com