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Colina Seeley died 28 July 2017 of complications following a stroke. She was born in Utrecht, the Netherlands on 7 May 1928. She grew up in an academic household where her father was professor of anthropology at University of Utrecht, and her mother was a history and geography teacher.
When the Nazis took over the Netherlands her father was called in to explain why he no longer taught. He said that the Dutch students had mostly evaporated and all that was left was Nazi sympathizers. When Colina heard this story that evening, at age 12 she instantly saw that the Nazis would be coming to pick him up, and made such a scene that her father reluctantly went into hiding that night. The next morning the Nazis were at the door to pick him up. Colina became the mainstay of the family consisting of the other 5 children and her not very functional mother. Colina was the person who scrounged for tidbits of food and coal. She cooked in the back yard over a tin can. As a small girl with long blonde braids she was able to hoodwink the Nazis and lead off men out of the groups being marched to Germany to work in the factories there.
After the war she trained for a year in social work in Amsterdam, then decided to work for a master’s degree at an American university. She read papers written by professors in various schools and decided on the University of Minnesota. There she met and married Joseph Jordan, who was later Professor of Chemistry at Penn State. Colina raised four children: Saskia, Sharon, Naomi and Adlai. She is survived by four grandsons and one granddaughter, also by Ralph’s children and grandchildren. Colina practiced as a social worker licensed for mental therapy, both at the Meadows and in private practice. At one time she was the mental health outreach contact for all of Penns and Brush valleys. She told stories of helping Amish families deal with suicide.
Joseph died in August 1992. Colina moved from College Heights to an old farm house on Spring Creek Road near Bellefonte. She married Ralph Seeley in April 2004 and they moved to a new house outside Bellefonte. She stayed active in politics, poetry readings and good works, and working in all weather in her gardens. She made a neighborhood out of the surrounding houses of people who otherwise would not have known each other.
Her family wishes to acknowledge the good work of the emergency staff at Mt. Nittany Medical Center, at Geisinger in Danville, at HealthSouth—and her favorite physician, Dr. Aboul-Hosn of Bellefonte.
A memorial service will be held Sunday, October 8, 2017, at 3:00 pm, at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 780 Waupelani Dr., State College.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Colina’s name to any organization of which she would approve.
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