Blanca Kolb Colannino

Blanca Kolb Colannino

September 28th, 1943 October 7th, 2020

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Obituary for Blanca Kolb Colannino

Blanca Kolb Colannino, a longtime resident of Buckingham Street, died suddenly and unexpectedly on October 7, 2020.

She will be missed by her nephew, Anthony J. Colannino and his wife Kara, of Woburn, who worked tirelessly during the many days necessary for Blanca to move forward after her husband of fifty years, Robert, died on July 26, 2020. She will also be missed by her brother-in-law, Francis X. Colannino, and his wife, Susan, of Somerville; by her sister-in-law and longtime friend, Maria Swanson and her husband, Russell, of Millbrae, California and by many nieces and nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews.

Blanca was born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, on September 28, 1943 and came to the United States of America when she was still in high school. She, along with her mother and father and four siblings settled in Michigan. She was predeceased by her father, Hendrickus Kolb, her mother, Wilhelmina Kolb and her brother, Dirk Kolb.

Blanca and Bobby built a beautiful home together at 34 Buckingham Street, where they resided together for 45 years. The property’s backyard bordered Bobby’s childhood home, and even at a young age he made purchasing the home a goal. Both the inside and outside of their purple house was unique, filled with interests, loves, and passions of its residents.

Through years of planning and planting their outdoor space become an enchanted place of well-chosen trees and flowers, as well as a vegetable garden. Blanca loved to sit in the lush green space at its farthest edges, where you could be mistaken to be in the woods of New Hampshire, instead of a backyard just a few minutes from Harvard Square. Blanca also loved to sit in a favorite second floor room which overlooked the garden and where she watched the many birds who visited her feeders on a Juliet balcony.

Inside rooms where simply know by whatever color they were painted: The Blue Room, Green Room, Purple Room, Yellow Room, etc. Everything from the furniture to the paintings to light fixtures were carefully chosen from decades of finding that just right piece at yard or estate sales they frequented together. Often Blanca had to compete with Bobby for shelf space in their home to show off her latest finds.

Blanca also loved to create art on the third floor of Buckingham Street. She worked in textiles, yarn, and natural elements. She loved to knit small holders for even smaller treasures that she would hide within her knitted creations and give as gifts. Both Blanca and Bobby also shared their yard sale finds with their nieces and nephews through birthday and Christmas gifts. Of her varied collections, Blanca enjoyed the detail artwork in J & J.G. Low tiles, which she started collecting in 1975.

Blanca also shared her home with many pets throughout the years. She adored her Maine Coon cats and a one-time dog, Buck, an ever-protective Saint Bernard. The couple’s latest cat, Bell, was a constant companion for Blanca after Bobby’s passing. Blanca spoiled her with heavy and whipped cream.
In her later years Blanca suffered significant hearing loss, which made it difficult for her to attend family functions or even go out for dinner. Bobby, her loving caretaker, would make her special meals and sometimes simply surprise her by serving her on the second floor. These last months before her death, she often remarked how dedicated Bobby was to her, and how she enjoyed his meals more than any 5-star restaurant.

For the entirety of her life Blanca moved with courage, conviction, and creativity. This same resilience was evident even after Bobby’s sudden death. As difficult as continuing to live after losing her partner of 50 years was, Blanca was doing so, courageously. Her grief did not stop her from selling her beloved home with plans to move into a more suitable space for her current needs and where she could continue creating.

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Service Details

  • Interment

    Mount Auburn Cemetery
    580 Mount Auburn Street
    Cambridge, Massachusetts
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |

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Thea, Henk, and Ron

In loving memory for our sister Blanca. We will never forget you. I hope you will be with Bob and you will be in each other's arms.

Thea, Henk, and Ron planted 3 memorial trees for Blanca Kolb Colannino

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Comment | Posted at 01:17pm via Premium Tree

Morgan Foley

Aunt Blanca was someone that you always wanted to hear stories from. She was such an interesting person and I will miss talking to her very much. She was also a wonderful artist and we bonded over art. She was inspired by nature and loved to take pictures of trees and flowers. The last time I spoke with her she was doing a project about mushrooms that she found. She inspired my art in many ways. She was the type of person that when you talked to her she wanted to know everything going on in your life. She made everyone feel special. I will miss her wonderful energy and her fascination of nature, art, and jewelry.
Comment | Posted at 11:41am via Condolence

McKenzie Foley

Aunt Blanca will be missed very much. Love you, rest in peace.
Comment | Posted at 08:21pm via Condolence

Margery Williams

Blanca and I worked together at a small publishing house in Harvard Square in the late 1970s. She was such a free-spirited individual, and we had so much fun together. One day I told her I wanted to adopt a cat. With her encouragement, we snuck out of work and went to the animal shelter at the MSPCA, where I adopted my beloved adult cat, Hector. We brought him back to work and hid him in our office until it was time to go home. Who else but Blanca would have promoted such an adventure? She was one of a kind.
Comment | Posted at 12:30pm via Condolence

Rachel Foley

Aunt Blanca will be missed greatly! I will always remember your laugh and love. You took great interest in all your nephew, nieces, great nephews and great nieces lives. Your thoughtful original gifts will always be remembered as we have so many amazing pieces through out our home. The one most meaningful to me is the tapestry you gave to Morgan when she was born. It still hangs in my girls room and I call the piece their protective angels. I will miss you yet all I have to do is look around my home and you are remembered. Rest In Peace with Uncle Bobby.
Comment | Posted at 12:26pm via Condolence

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