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Colleen (Szymanski) Sluga Bos, age 77, of Jenison, Michigan, formerly of the Chicago area, died peacefully with family by her side after a battle with ALS on Thursday, April 1, 2021. She was born February 3, 1944, in Franklin Park, Illinois, to the late Stanley and Laverne (Wentworth) Szymanski.

In 1970, Colleen and Dennis J. Sluga married, and they have two children, Victoria and Dan. Although divorced in 1980, Colleen and Dennis remained good friends, raising their children together, attending and celebrating special family events. In 1986 she married Henry R. Bos, thereby bringing the Sluga Bos (“Bugaslos”) families together.

Colleen found so much joy and shared her passions through many interests, including antiques, collecting, crafting, and genealogy, leading to her being a Daughter of the Revolution, gift-giving, working, volunteering, and faith. Most of all, she deeply loved her family and dear friends, including Angie Zajac, Carolyn Strapoli, and Ed Murphy. She wrote beautiful, heart-filled notes, expressed her feelings freely and recalled cherished memories of time spent with family and old and new friends.

Her sense of humor made us all laugh. At Christmas, with a gleam in her eye, she was the first to crumple wrapping paper to throw it at an unsuspecting family member across the room. Before long, the house was filled with laughter, banter, and everyone throwing pieces of paper at each other. Her gift of storytelling and the stories she told are legendary and are something that her kids and grandkids will never forget.

She made holidays and birthdays extra special by baking wonderful cookies, treats, and cakes. The cakes always tasted so good, but even better were the decorations. They were always a surprise, but we knew it would be funny, and we looked forward to seeing her creations with anticipation. She gave us the tradition of singing Happy Birthday as loud, off-key, and awful as possible. Her joy was visible as glee in her eyes as we get ready for another birthday celebration.

As a wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, Colleen made every day special because of her thoughtfulness, care, and kind heart. Some of her most fond memories were working in the Loop, downtown Chicago, tracking down unknown links in the family trees, volunteering in many different capacities, including Congressman Henry Hyde’s campaign and the Salvation Army. She and Hank loved driving around town (sometimes getting lost), seeing new sites, sharing a meal at local restaurants, and finding treasures together. Colleen was a gifted, self-taught seamstress, making special blankets for her children, grandchildren, and friends. Her creativity allowed her to create beautiful crafts that she gave away to bless others and make them happy.

Survivors include her husband of 35 years, Hank Bos; her children, Victoria Renee (Brad Allen) Sluga and Daniel Dennis (Carrie) Sluga; Hank’s children, Tracy (Rod) Bruner, Dennis Bos, Matthew (Julie) Bos, and Brian Bos; grandchildren, Aili, Frank, Gwen, and Mary Grace Sluga and Nathaniel, Haleigh, and Anneka Bos; and her cats, Arthur and Dutchy.

Colleen was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers Bill and Jim, and numerous cats.

Per her wishes, cremation has taken place. An announcement will be shared about a memorial to be held at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be sent to Love Inc. (https://www.loveinthenameofchrist.org), All God’s Children Honduras (https://allgodschildrenhonduras.org/), or any cat rescue of your choosing.

To send a message of sympathy to the family, please sign Colleen’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit: www.MichiganCremation.com

 

Cremation arrangements are entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids, 616-452-3006.

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11 Comments

  1. Dee on April 4, 2021 at 10:42 pm

    My thoughts are with you all.
    I feel privileged to have met her and your family.



  2. Peter Esala on April 5, 2021 at 11:21 am

    So sorry for the loss of your mother



  3. Gerri Johnston on April 5, 2021 at 11:24 am

    My deepest condolences and prayers to the entire family and many friends. Hoping you find some comfort in your many shared memories.



  4. Linda and Ken Vance on April 5, 2021 at 1:03 pm

    Our deepest sympathy to Hank and her entire family. The joy Colleen could spread will be a tremendous void, she was a person you couldn’t help but love



  5. Jane Cintron on April 5, 2021 at 1:07 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear this! Colleen was always so sweet to me, always finding me at Faith CRC and talking to me and my kids, and joking around. We kept in touch through Facebook, and she sent me encouraging messages through Messenger and on my posts during my life events. I’m so sorry you lost such a bright light in your lives!



  6. Jessica Coron on April 5, 2021 at 2:29 pm

    Colleen was such a joy! I throughly enjoyed the time I got to spend with her ❤ Spending a couple days a week with her I was able to get many recipes she shared and taught many crafts! She is such a blessing in my life! You couldn’t help but Love her!!
    Love your Visiting Angel
    Jessica



  7. Don Deckert on April 5, 2021 at 4:41 pm

    You were a great friend and mentor to us all growing up and will be missed and always loved.



  8. Sue Folkerts on April 5, 2021 at 4:48 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of Colleens passing! Ken an I had dinner with Hank and Colleen last fall(?) and we had such a wonderful time! She sent me several Covid masks and zip up bags that she had made. She will be missed! She was all ways so very kind and supportive. You have our deep sympathy, and you will be in our prayers!



  9. Jenny on April 5, 2021 at 5:20 pm

    I am so very sorry to hear of Colleen’s passing. In the very short time I knew her, I will always remember her kind and giving heart that overflowed with an endless amount of joy! 💜
    ~Your Visiting Angel/Friend,
    Jenny



  10. Dave Murphy on April 5, 2021 at 10:56 pm

    Colleen was such an amazing mother, friend and an honorary member of the Murphy Clan!

    It’s amazing to think it all started more than 40 years ago on the 800 block of Saylor Avenue in Elmhurst, Illinois. It was there my father Ed met our neighbor Colleen across the street. With two families picking up the pieces from divorce, It was hard to determine which family was more messed up. Regardless, we all survived and lived to share many funny stories and memories.

    We will miss her big heart, everlasting love and infectious laughter!

    To the Sluga/Bos Clan, you and your family are in our hearts and prayers. We love you all!

    Love Dave



  11. Jànn and Gary Allen on April 6, 2021 at 4:27 pm

    We are sharing our heart and grief with you today Brad and Victoria we’re so glad that your mom and family became so close to us in the years that you’ve been married we will always remember the special things that Colleen and Hank have done for and with us .
    We love you much.



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