Welcome to the memorial page for

Colleen Marie (Carroll) Spinelli

May 22, 1951 ~ May 23, 2017 (age 66)

Obituary Image

Born May 22, 1951, in San Francisco to Margaret and Robert Carroll, Colleen grew up a strong young woman who fiercely loved her local teams, politics and sports due to her strong bond with her beloved dad and best friend. Colleen graduated from San Mateo High School in 1969, during the Summer of Love. As a young woman she spent every weekend possible at The Fillmore and Winterland Ballroom enjoying live music from the likes of Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and many others with her cousin and partner in crime, Gregory Boyd. This began her lifelong love of music. She especially loved the Beatles, and John Lennon. She saw the Beatles live at Candlestick Park in 1964 and had every album on vinyl. Her love of music spanned everything from The Beatles to Etta James, Donovan to Keb Mo. 

She married Raymond Perkins in 1969 and had her first child, a son named Brian, in 1970. Her daughter, Reina, followed in 1972. Colleen and Ray settled for a while in Belmont , CA, living three houses away from Brian and Reina’s grandparents, Ed and Marie Perkins.

Colleen started her career in retail as a sales person at Montgomery Ward in 1976. She worked for Macy’s for many years, eventually becoming a systems trainer. It was there that she met her best friend, Glenn Cover. She went on to work for Intrepid Systems as a retail systems trainer, traveling all over the United States and internationally.

In 1992 Colleen moved to Glen Ellen, CA, where her sister Erin and brother-in-law Dave had settled. She lived around the corner from her sister and nieces and nephew. In 1998 she reconnected with an old friend, Gene Spinelli, and they began dating. They married in 2002 during a snowstorm in Lake Tahoe, NV. Colleen and Gene shared a love of travel and a deep devotion to family.

Colleen was the consummate host, always planning parties and bringing family and friends together. She planned an annual party for the Sonoma Barrel Tasting that eventually swelled to include three busloads and a rented hall to house everyone for dinner! She loved family camping trips to Union Valley Reservoir, girls camping weekends at Fashoda Beach, Shasta houseboat trips with friends, planning family reunions, and her San Francisco Giants. Colleen was a “Gamer Babe” who was a lifelong Giants fan, a passion she learned from her father and passed on to her daughter Reina. She and Reina made an annual trip to Scottsdale, AZ, for Giants Spring Training, where they met Duane Kuiper. She loved those trips, especially because Colleen loved the heat! Anything less than 80 degrees was cold to her.

Colleen and Gene loved to travel together, and among her favorite destinations were London, Key West, Boston, New Orleans and especially New York. They spent many weekends at another of her favorite spots, the Mendocino coast. Colleen and Gene loved travelling to Houston to visit Colleen’s cousin Gregory and his love, Josie, and seeing their productions at the Alley Theater, in which Josie captivated the stage directed by Gregory.

Colleen was a devoted grandmother to Alison and Ella Perkins, Christina and Emilia Spinelli; and was excited to welcome a new baby Spinelli due in July. She took Alison to New York City for her 13th birthday, where they enjoyed exploring the city together, saw the musical Wicked, and visited all the landmarks. She planned to do the same trip with all of her grandchildren to introduce them to her love of travel and New York City.

Colleen loved CNN, her beloved Democrats, Forensic Files and Court TV. She was an avid news watcher who enjoyed debating the issues of the day with anyone. She had a wicked sense of humor and a razor sharp wit. She spent her Monday evenings with her close group of friends, Erin, Corrie, Rita, Deborah and Felice, AKA The SLUTes, standing for Stressed Ladies Unwinding Together. They would watch “Dancing With the Stars,” betting quarters on the winners.

Colleen was always drawn to angels, filling her home and garden with angel pictures, figurines and jewelry. Now she is an angel herself watching over her family.

Colleen is survived by her beloved husband, Gene Spinelli; her daughter, Reina Perkins; son and daughter-in-law Brian and Robin Perkins; stepsons and daughters-in-law Mark and Mary Alice Spinelli and Michael and Luanne Spinelli; granddaughters Alison and Ella Perkins and Christina and Emilia Spinelli; sister Patricia Carroll; sister and brother-in-law Erin and David Davis; former husband Ray Perkins, his siblings and their spouses, Ken and Shirley Perkins, Robert and Jackie Chang; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins; all of whom visited her in her last days and loved her as fiercely as she loved them.

A Memorial Mass will be held on June 2, 11:00 AM, at St. Leo’s Catholic Church, 601 Agua Caliente Road West, Sonoma, CA. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Sutter Care at Home Hospice, who cared so lovingly for Colleen in her final days. You can donate via their website:

Charitable donations may be made to:

Sutter Care at Home
PO Box 160045, Sacramento CA 95816

 Service Information

Memorial Mass
June 2, 2017

11:00 AM
St. Leo the Great Church
601 W Agua Caliente Road
Sonoma, CA 95476

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