Cover photo for Colleen Lin Mjaatvedt's Obituary
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1931 Colleen 2022

Colleen Lin Mjaatvedt

March 24, 1931 — May 16, 2022

 Colleen Lin Mjaatvedt
March 24, 1931 - May 16, 2022
 
 
  Lin was born in a half built hotel in the destitute conditions of 1931. Her life took her from living off the land as a child in Brigham City, to an invitation to the Presidential Inagural Ball of Ronald Reagan during her government work.  Lin had  unstoppable independence, energy, and determination. In her own words, she was fiesty.  Her mother Ulla was a Danish immigrant and her father Everett came from a long line of horsemen who had arrived in this country around the 17th century, working their way west until finally settling in Bear River, Utah by the 20th century.

  Lin was the second of five siblings.  She was the oldest girl in between 2 brothers, Delwin and Richard, with two younger sisters Jo Ann and Norma Jean.  She learned early on to hold her own and how to care for her younger 3 siblings.  Lin’s childhood was full of rough and tumble with her brothers, swinging on ropes through the rafters of abandoned carriage houses, sharing one bed with her 2 brothers, and sleeping head to toe to fit while enduring the stinky smell of their feet.  The front porch became her oasis, where she slept on warm nights.  She spent her summers traveling the countryside selling fruits and vegetables with her dad.  Earnings from the sale of these home grown goods sustained the family through the long winters of the Great Depression.

  As teenager she helped her family by babysitting, cleaning houses, and working at the local cannery.  Many summers she spent time living at her Uncle Henry and Aunt Ferns home in Salt Lake City.  She not only learned to dance from her aunt who was a dance teacher, but saw what it was like to leave the farm and experience city life.  She treasured those memories.  Between her Junior and Senior year in high school she spent the summer working at the Grand Canyon.  In 1949 she graduated from Box Elder High School and later furthered her education by attending both Weber State College and Fresno City College.
   
   As a young adult,  Lin and her two sisters JoAnn and Norma Jean were actively involved in roller skating.  Lin roller skated in competitions from Utah to California. She met her future husband, Frank Mjaatvedt, roller skating at the Berthana Roller Rink in Ogden. They continued to skate together after marriage and Frank eventually became the Crystal Springs Roller Rink manger in Honeyville. During this time her  2 children Corey and Christene were born.

  Busy now with a new family, she still found time to continue to roller skate. It wasn’t long before the popular era of roller skating ended however, with the Berthana and Crystal Springs roller rinks closing.  Not to be deterred she switched from roller skating to figure skating . As active as ever she worked to organize the first U.S. Figure Skating Club in Ogden, and served as club president for many years. As a figure skater she competed in ice dance and completed many figure and dance tests. She also became a U.S. Figure Skating Judge. 
 

  Lin began her career with the IRS in the late 1950s. Her work took her from Utah to California for 12 years, then to Washington DC for 6 years, and finally back to Utah with her retirement in 1987.  While in Utah she worked full time, fulfilled the roles of wife, mother, and became a den mother for the Boy Scouts.  She was also active in skiing, tennis, and of course skating.  Her life took on a new independent path when she transferred to Fresno, California in 1971.  While living in Fresno she developed many close friends and relationships. She referred to the years in California as her "Golden Years”, with the casual lifestyle of endless barbecues, gatherings of friends, and Neil Diamond music.  During this time she discovered Yoga, which became her favorite exercise and  philosophical guiding light.  She went on to become a certified instructor in yoga technique.  After 12 years in California, an opportunity to work in the nations capitol presented itself, and without hesitation she took it.  In Washington DC Lin developed the art of matchmaking.  Her niece, who by chance had also recently moved to Washington DC, moved in with Lin.  Soon after they started skating together her niece met and married Lin’s ice dance partner. Unfortunately, Lin lost her skating partner, but gained a nephew-in-law.  Shortly after the wedding, Lin found a new best friend on a dark cold winter night in Washington. It was heavily snowing, crippling the city transportation system. Standing on a corner, waiting for the bus that never came, she noticed a glowing light behind her.  She turned around and there she saw what she named "Black Beauty”.  It was a beautiful, black, shiny car sitting in the warm auto dealership building.  She walked in to the building and said "I’ll take that one". She bought the car and drove herself home.  One of Lin’s favorite memories of living in Washington D.C. was being invited to the Presidential Inaugural Ball.

  In 1987, after thirty years of government work, Lin retired. He first goal after retirement was to return to Utah. She was happy to be closer to her family again.  Lin always had an agenda, and first on the list was to be closer to her grandchildren Kimmy, Bridget, Jackie, Mark, and Megan.   Of the five grandchildren, four of them lived in Utah and the fifth grandchild Megan came every Christmas and summer to visit. She later had nine great grandchildren; London, Sophie, Liam, Owen, Drew, Abigail, Dublin, Fionne, and little Charlotte.  Lin always threw a great Christmas party with the best spoon pork roast you ever had.  Her Fourth of July swimming parties were no less spectacular, featuring one of her laid back California barbecue and firework shows.  Thanksgiving dinner took days to do and undo, coming complete with a lineup of appetizers that were more like the meal before the meal. Other things on Lin’s agenda were taking her mother to weekly brunch, and visiting her siblings in Seattle and Utah. Once settled back in Utah, she decided to spend a summer skating in Sun Valley and work as the dorm mother in the skaters dorm.  Next she returned to serve as a figure skating judge, which she continued for the next 20 years.  When the 2002 Olympics came to Utah, she jumped right in and got a role skating in the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games.  Looking for new things to do, she decided  to became a student again by taking many Life Long Living classes at Weber State University.  Travel was also on her agenda with trips to Europe, the Caribbean, and Hawaii. She loved her retirement mornings, sitting on the patio, sipping her coffee, reading the paper, and evenings at the pool watching the sun set as she swam with friends and family.  Trips to Park City and cross country skiing were also some of her favorite things to do in retirement.  Probably her favorite activity of all was visiting "Two Bit Street Restaurant" to meet her friends for lunch, including the owners Penny and James.  Lin was an avid reader.  In her quieter days alone as she got older she read hundreds of books. Her favorite types of books were biographies, and anything about politics.  Finally, in the winter of her life she mellowed and moved into the assisted care facility "The Auberge".  She had several friends there and developed close relationships with her aids and with Julia. Lin enjoyed the many activities, parties, and outings offered at “The Auberge".  She loved the beautiful view of the mountains and trees from the large window of her apartment there. Although she gradually weakened with age, she still kept up with calls, texting, and social media.  On Monday, May 16 , 2022 her heart gave out with acute congestive heart failure, but today her spirit still stands strong.

  There will be a gathering for family and friends from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 31st at Aaron’s Mortuary 496 24th Street in Ogden.  The formal service will begin at 11:30 a.m.  Lin’s family would like to offer a special thanks to; “The Auberge”, “Specialty Nursing”, “Inspiration Hospice”, and “Aaron’s Mortuary”. 
 
 
 
 
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Memorial Gathering

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

11:00am - 1:00 pm (Mountain time)

Aaron's Mortuary & Crematory

496 24th St, Ogden, UT 84401

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