Colleen B. Kish Toupin, 94, passed away peacefully on February 12, 2022 with her family by her side.
Colleen Beverly Lange was born at the home of her parents, Walter Carl and Edith “Pauline” Lange, in rural Murray County on November 18, 1927, and grew up on a farm in far southwestern Minnesota. She attended a one-room country school for five years, starting at the age of five. Because her mother was a teacher, Colleen had already read all the first-grade books. Today the school might be called “disadvantaged” because the entire school library consisted of a small cabinet, but this was the typical situation in rural school systems. The site was 2 3/4 miles from her home, at the time considered walkable (in all weathers) for a five-year-old child and a brother two years her senior. When he graduated from the eighth grade at the “city school”, Colleen also transferred with pleasure, where she became valedictorian. She has always enjoyed school and learning new skills very much. She then trained in cosmetology at Mankato Beauty School and worked for two years in Rochester, where she met her future husband, Floyd John Kish at an old-fashioned dance. They were married in Lake Wilson, December 26, 1946 (her parents’ silver wedding anniversary) and moved to Zumbrota. Later they divorced.
In the housing crisis after World War II, there was nothing in Zumbrota but a one-room cottage (with an all-purpose sink, including tubs, at the kitchen end of the room and the toilet in a minimal closet). It was located in the back yard of the large Eberhart house on the southeast corner of West 5th and Mill Street, the house that became the operating theater when the community hospital was built and for a time by the continued. Soon after, the couple decided to build themselves a small house at 233 West 5th Street, near the creek, which proved to be a tempting playground in successive years for their three sons. As their family grew, they then expanded the small house.
After working part-time for Lillian Miller at her hair salon, she opted for a full-time job with the Marvins at the Zumbrota Telephone Company, located those days up the stairs on the northeast corner of Main and 3rd Street. Four years later, she resigned due to the upcoming birth of her first child. She would have stayed, but she didn’t know that it was now acceptable to continue working and having a family. It was perhaps the only time she admitted to being late! It took only six weeks to return to work, to a new job as a nursing assistant at the new community hospital, where she continued on a part-time basis for four years. Then she took a job in the office of Dr. Oliver EH Larson, which she would hold for 14 years. In the meantime, she earned a BA and MA in English, which involved driving once a week to the University of Minnesota and several years of summer school, and eventually resulted in a move from Zumbrota to accept a career with the Minnesota Department of Education. , Teacher Licensing Section. She retired on June 30, 1991 (she was actually made redundant as part of a staff cost reduction).
During these 20 years, she traveled a lot, especially in Europe and Asia, as well as in the United States. She proclaimed Paris as her favorite city, and Greek and Roman ruins as her favorite sites; however, the purest fun she had was at Mardi Gras. The ultimate tour was to fly on the SS Concorde to England (about four hours) and back to New York on the Queen Elizabeth 2 (over four days, including a near-hurricane storm that shut down all ship’s facilities). Additionally, during Zumbrota’s hiatus, she married Harold Ovid Toupin, with whom she spent over 30 years traveling and “snowbird watching” in Sun City West, Arizona, where they had a second home. . It was in Arizona that she made the belated discovery that she possessed a certain talent in art, starting with pottery, then copper enameling and porcelain painting, passing through stained glass work. , kiln-molten glass work and garden art, which were his last strong point. She enjoyed creating works of art and seeing them in the homes of her sons and grandchildren. After returning to Zumbrota in 2016, settling into a renovated historic home, Colleen built on her son’s passions, working first with the Zumbrota Area Arts Council and progressing to the Center for Art. history, including serving on the board of directors.
Colleen is survived by two sons, Kevin (Jennifer) Kish of Zumbrota and Dana (Debra) Kish of Molokai, Hawaii; plus seven grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren, Philip (Chanchrisna) Kish and children Aria and Wylder of Byron, Lindsey Kish and son Julian of Minneapolis, Jeremy (Steph-anie) Kish and Bradley, Daniel and Taylor of Wanamingo, Jody (Arnie) Meyer and Brooklynn from Pine Island, Jennifer (Seth) Kish/Finck and Cora from Medina, Ariel Kish and her sons Jacob Grant and Ethan Grant from Mindoro, Wisconsin, Brittney (Phil) Tauscher and Teagan from Onalaska , Wis.; as well as Kevin and Jennifer Kish’s extended in-laws.
Before Colleen in death, her beloved husband Harold Toupin; first husband Floyd Kish; Parents; two brothers Dwayne and Lee Lange; and his son Karol John Kish. Online condolences are welcome and can be shared at mahnfamilyfuneralhome.com.
All memorials are suggested to the Zumbrota State Theater Encore campaign or donor’s choice.