Coletta Neuens (nee Burke), age 82, a resident of Gardnerville, NV; formerly of Homer Glen and Beverly in Chicago, passed away on November 10, 2023, at home surrounded by her loving husband Micheal and family.
Beloved wife of Michael Neuens, proud mother of Marianne (Mark) McKibbin and Sharon (Matt Beranek) Bankert, Michael (Sherry) Neuens, Pam Neuens, Gina (Peter Haase) and Jodi (Mark Yeman). Her cherished grandchildren include Michael Neuens, Morgan Neuens, Savannah Haase, Meghan McKibbin, Madeline McKibbin, Bryson Yeman as well as great grandchildren Avarie and Haven. Coletta was preceded in death by her parents Michael and Margaret Burke, her sister Loretta Burke and her first husband Edward Bankert.
Coletta grew up in Chicago with her mother, father, and younger sister. As a first generation Irish, she grew up surrounded by Irish culture. Even as an adult, she was still able to perform the Irish jig from her years of childhood dance.
Coletta graduated from St Bernard's Hospital School of Nursing in 1961. She received a BS from the College of St. Francis in 1975 and a master’s degree in education from the University of Illinois-Chicago in 1978. Coletta began her career as a staff nurse at Christ Hospital (now known as Advocate Christ Medical Center) in 1968. After receiving her master's degree in education, she was named administrator for the nursing department and headed up operations for the entire medical staff. In 1986, Coletta was named a vice president for operations. Then in February 1995, Coletta served as co-chief executive officer of Christ Hospital and Medical Center in Oak Lawn, IL with Carol Schneider until her retirement in 2000.
Coletta was a trailblazer for women. She along with Carol were the first female executive officers to lead the largest private medical center in the state. They paved the way for others and showed that strong women can work together. Along the way, they've received many awards. They were co-recipients of Grant Thornton's Executive Woman of the Year award, named Women of Vision by the Illinois Eye Bank and co-CEOs of the Year by the Abby Foundation, a south suburban women's advocacy group.
Coletta was a person who loved and appreciated the arts and history. She was a wonderful mother who took advantage of the museums and theaters in Chicago by exposing her children to the arts throughout their lives. She was also a generous friend who never forgot a birthday or anniversary. She even remembered everybody’s Waterford China patterns from their wedding registries!
In her retirement Michael and Coletta followed their dreams of moving and retiring in Gardnerville Nevada. Coletta and her husband Mike relished spending time with family and friends. She also loved her dogs, she was an avid reader, and she enjoyed helping at the family restaurant Chicago Mikes Pizza in Gardnerville.
Wake/service will take place on December 1 from 11am-3pm at Eastside Memorial Park, 1600 Buckeye Road, Minden, NV. In lieu of flowers, friends and family can donate to the Alzheimer’s Association in the name of Coletta Neuens. An additional memorial will take place next summer in the Chicagoland area.