Colleen M. Houlihan

Colleen M. Houlihan

EAST BERNE — Colleen M. Houlihan of East Berne — a woman with quick-witted humor and kind and caring ways — died on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, after a courageous 16-year battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

She was born in 1944 to the late James and Cecelia (née Manley) Mitchell in Rome, New York and was raised in Camden, Oneida County. She graduated from Camden Central School in 1961, where she later met her best friend, Dennis Houlihan, and they married the next year.

“Colleen then started a career with the New York State Natural Beauty Commission, in Albany, ‘retiring’ after seven years to raise their two sons at home in East Berne,” her family wrote.

“In 1973, Colleen and Dennis founded Pavement Paintlines (a pavement-marking business) which is still operated by their family,” the tribute continues. “After retiring in 1995, Colleen and Dennis enjoyed the seasons in their homes in East Berne and South Daytona, Florida.

“Those who knew Colleen will remember her quick-witted humor that kept one on their toes. She had a kind and caring way, thinking of others first. Over the years, she befriended many.

“She was known for her culinary wonders, from hearty meals to homemade fruit preserves. She would share these with elderly relatives and neighbors as her way of caring for them. A kind soul indeed who will be missed by many.”


Colleen M. Houlihan is survived by her husband, Dennis; by her sons, Thomas of Medusa, and Patrick (Susan) and grandchildren, Liam and Alana, of Anchor Point, Alaska; by her brother Patrick (Nancy) Mitchell of Pine Bluff, Arkansas;by  her sister Benita (Ben) Niciu of Camden, New York; and by many nieces and nephews.

Her sister, Monica Kowalski, died before her.

“The family sends a very special thank-you for the loving care they provided Colleen at St. Peter’s Intensive Care Unit (Dr. Cozens, Meagan, Georgie) and so many others and Community Hospice (Evelyn, Adette and Carlene), who made her last hours so peaceful,” her family wrote, “and to the Helderberg Rescue Squad for the fine service.

“The family appreciates everyone’s thoughts and prayers, but due to the COVID situation, funeral services will be private. There will be a Celebration of Colleen’s Life announced in the future.

“In lieu of flowers, the family is sure Colleen would appreciate a donation to a worthy cause of your choice.”

Memorial messages may be left at


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