Colleen Marie Higgins Melendez


Colleen-at-Easter-2012-resized-to-600x800Colleen Marie Higgins-Melendez, Seattle graphics designer, loving and much-loved daughter, friend, wife and mother, passed away on December 19 after a valiant battle against brain cancer. Preceded in death by her mother, Barbara Higgins, her uncles Leigh Higgins and David Wright, and niece Alexia Higgins, she leaves her husband Daniel, two daughters, Abbegayle (14) and Jessica (11), father Robert W. Higgins MD, stepmother Judith Ellen Higgins, brothers Fred (Carolyn), Jay (Heidi), her step-sisters, Eileen Wood-Lim (Don), and Beth Wood (Gregor Kneitz) as well as 11 nieces and nephews. Also surviving Colleen are her mother-in-law, Cecilia Melendez, brothers-in-law Marcos and Andrew (Robin), sister-in-law Lisa Triley, aunt Cheryl Higgins and uncle Richard Wright (Sue).


Born in Seattle on June 10, 1962, Colleen showed artistic talent from an early age. She experienced many moves and school changes due to her father’s naval career but easily made new and lasting friendships at each location. She attended WSU for three years, where she was a member of Sigma Kappa sorority. Colleen transferred to the Seattle Art Institute and received her Associate’s Degree in 1986. She began her career at the local firm of Ballard Bratsberg and later established her own very successful business, Colleen Higgins Designs. She was generous in doing pro-bono work throughout her career and loved to help others.


On April 27, 1996 Colleen married Daniel Melendez a Seattle contractor. After her children were born she moved her business office to her home in order to be closer to her children. As her children entered school, she volunteered her expertise in their school and Girl Scout activities. She enjoyed animals, particularly her pet cats, and was a passionate, accomplished knitter. Colleen had a love of books and enjoyed travel. She visited Russia, Hong Kong, Jamaica and eventually her husband’s family home in Costa Rica.


A March 2012 diagnosis of brain cancer was a cruel blow to Colleen and her family, but she met this with a determination to work with her physicians to live as normal a life as possible. She participated enthusiastically in the annual Seattle Brain Cancer Walk.


The family wishes to express its appreciation for the wonderful care given to Colleen during her illness by the doctors and staff at the Ivey Center at Swedish Hospital, and to the compassionate staff at Providence Hospice during her last month. More gratitude than we can ever express is due to the families of St. Matthew School and to the community of St. Matthew Parish, who provided many meals, care and companionship. So many amazing family and friends gave up their time to nurse and care for Colleen and help care for her children; we are warmed and overwhelmed by their loving help.


A memorial service will be held at St. Matthew Parish, 1240 NE 127th Street at 11:00 AM on Saturday, December 27. All friends are asked to honor Colleen’s artistic spirit by wearing her favorite color, purple.


In lieu of flowers, gifts to a scholarship fund for Colleen’s daughters would be appreciated. Donations may be made to the Benevolent Account of Colleen Higgins-Melendez at any BECU branch.

2 Responses to “Colleen Marie Higgins Melendez”

  • Andrea Blukis says:

    Words alone cannot express the depth of our condolences to you and your family. A great and tragic loss for which we mourn with you. May God’s presence in this world comfort you.
    With our deepest sympathy, the Blukis family

  • Maria Gutierrez says:

    I knew Colleen thru Girls scouts. We send our thoughts n condolences for your loss.

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