Obituary for Coleen Speer

Surrounded by her family, Coleen Speer of Chaska died peacefully in the afternoon of October 23. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 and fought it really hard. She didn't want to go, but in the end she had used up all of her strength.

Coleen was born on October 12, 1956 as the youngest of eight children of Leo and Penelope Neumann in Glenwood Springs, CO. The family bought a farm near Sauk Centre when she was 11, and she had fond memories of her horse Lou and the one chicken that wandered onto the farm one day and she got to take care of. Coleen had degrees in English and Communications and worked as a writer for the Fergus Falls Daily Journal for many years. After moving to Chaska, she was employed by Carver County as a grant writer and a communications specialist.

She had a beautiful soul, thought of others before thinking of herself. Her two sons, Johann and Lucas, and her husband, Dietrich, benefited from that as well as many others around her. Several children who needed a surrogate mother or simply a bed were invited to stay at her family's house for as long as they needed to. It was her passion to help the homeless, especially young people. She helped organize multiple large events for that cause, and she changed the direction of more than one person's life just by being the caring and loving person she was. Her sense of justice made her speak her mind when those in power had misconceptions about their boundaries. Coleen was shy, witty, outspoken, outgoing. Her friends and family particularly liked her ability to tell a good story or two. And wherever she was - laughter was never far away. She was very happy to see her son Lucas' wedding just a few days before she passed.

She leaves behind sisters, Laura Wasilowski in Elgin, IL, Betty Smith in Grand Junction, CO, and brother, Melvin Neumann in Denver, CO; her sons and husband in Chaska and Minnetonka and many nieces, nephews and cousins in the US and Germany.

A private mass will be held. Please honor Coleen's memory by making a donation to her favorite charity. Make out a check to "Launch Ministry" and either send it directly to their office in Chaska or to the Speer's home address.

Funeral Arrangements are with the Bertas

Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Chaska.

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