Carol Colleran

September 13, 1936 ~ April 24, 2019 (age 82)


Carol Colleran, former Vice President of Older Adult Services for Hazelden Foundation, pioneered the concept of age-specific treatment for chemically dependent older adults and went on to develop the trailblazing older adult treatment program at Hanley Hazelden (now known as the Hanely Center) in West Palm Beach, Florida. She was passionate about older adult recovery, motivated by her own successful recovery which began April 4, 1982.

Carol Colleran (née Morris) died on April 24th at her home in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, after a long struggle with interstitial lung disease and lung cancer. She was 82.

Ms. Colleran began her career as a chemical dependency counselor at the famed Hazelden Foundation in Center City, Minnesota, transferring to the Hanley Hazelden program in 1990, as Clinical Director. Ten years after founding the program for older adults, she went on to develop a program specific to treating the addictions of aging baby boomers.

Ms. Colleran was a nationally known speaker on the subject of addiction treatment for older adults and was often interviewed by national media, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Public Radio, and NBC’s Today Show.

Ms. Colleran went on to become the Executive Vice President of National Affairs and Public Policy for the Hanley Center. She helped to develop the center’s model prevention program, “Aging to Perfection.” After retiring, she worked as a consultant for the  development of other older adult treatment programs around the country.

Ms. Colleran is co-author of the book, “Aging and Addiction” (Hazelden, 2002), which won the National Media Award. She was the recipient of several other awards including the National Association for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors’ 2007 William F. “Bill” Callahan Award, and the Johnson Institute’s 2008 America Honors Recovery Award.

She held several leadership positions including serving on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health National Task Force; the Aging Assembly of the United Nations; SAMSHA National Advisory Council; and sat on the advisory board for the Center of Alcohol and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.

Carol Colleran was born in Estherville, Iowa and raised in Bloomington, Minnesota. After she married, she moved to Centuria and Balsam Lake, Wisconsin to raise her family. She was a member of Fristad Lutheran Church. Carol was known for her can-do spirit, her robust sense of humor, and her generous heart.

Carol was a loving and proud mother to her children: Jay (Claudia) Colleran, Dan (Heidi) Colleran, Amy Colleran, and Cathy Colleran (who pre-deceased her mother). Carol was also pre-deceased by her former husband, Jim Colleran, her brother Gene Morris, and her parents Clarence and Alice Morris. Carol was a loving grandmother to seven grandchildren: Jen Thurlow, Samantha Johnson, Gina Colleran, Nick Colleran, Chandler Colleran, Caroline Colleran, Catherine Colleran, and seven great-grandchildren.

The family would like to thank Discovery Village, Trustbridge Hospice, and FirstLantic Home Health Care for their loving end-of-life care for their mother.

Family and friends will gather on Friday, May 17 at Kolstad Family Funeral Home for visitation from 12:00 to 2:00pm. The funeral service will be at 2:00 P.M.  She will be laid to rest at the Fristad Cemetery following the service.  A lunch and fellowship to follow the cemetery service. The address is 301 Fourth Street, Centuria, Wisconsin.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Retreat in Wayzata, MN. Please designate your donation to the “55 Plus Program” for older adults:

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