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Obituary of Naida Claire Thul Colby
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Naida Claire Thul Colby was born in a log cabin on June 5, 1929, at 4:06 a.m. in Henderson, MN. She died peacefully, at age 94, on Jan. 9, 2024, in her room at the Episcopal Church Homes in St. Paul, MN, where she had resided for many years. She was born to parents Henry and Mary Frye Thul. She graduated from Blue Earth, MN, High School. She was a member of the graduating class Honor Society and was chosen by the school faculty as one of the top ten honor students in her class for high scholarship. She earned a nursing degree from Naeve Hospital School of Nursing in Albert Lea, Minnesota. Naida excelled in academics. In high school, she was editor of her high school paper and the graduating class yearbook, the Ma-Ko-Ta. She completed her nursing training and sat for her nursing boards on her 43rd birthday. Naida worked as a cardiac rehabilitation and education nurse for Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, MN, up until her car accident in 1976. The car accident may have closed one door but opened a new world and opportunity for Naida's career as a Chronic Pain Management Specialist and Holistic Nurse. Many of the physicians and nurses she worked with during her nursing career knew of and respected her work. For some, she clearly was an influence in the direction of their careers. The Medical Director of Fairview-University Pain Management Center (at that time a world-renowned center of excellence for pain management) was influenced by and modeled his practice after interning with Naida. Naida was on the ground floor of the Holistic Nurses Movement and healing touch. She received the Holistic Nurse of the year Award in 1984 and was a lifelong member of the Holistic Nurses Association. She was a lifelong student, mentor, and educator of holistic health to many students, nurses, and physicians. She had a successful private practice at the Minnesota Center for Health and Rehabilitation in Golden Valley, MN, specializing in chronic pain management, relaxation/meditation, and acupressure. She was a consultant with Sister Kenny Institute and traveled extensively as a guest-lecturer to several colleges and conferences. In 1984 she was invited to China along with a delegation of international practitioners to lecture, dialogue and study alternative approaches to pain management. She has a pair of bronzed tennis shoes mounted on a plaque to commemorate her walk on the Great Wall of China while eating a Snicker Bar. Naida created six guided meditations, titled Effortless Effort, for relaxation, sleep and to heal. As a child herself, starting at age four, she raised her youngest sister, Valerie. Naida is survived by her children Mary (Connie) Slaughter, Leigh Colby (Judy), Ray Colby (Melanie Rose), Paula Jelinek (Mark), Brigh Haas, her brother-in-law Jim Collison, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her children Christopher Colby and his wife Mary; daughter Gayle; her brother Edward and sisters Yvonne DeLaForest, Margaret Dickens, Donna Brosig, and Valerie Collison. Naida’s children remember many highlights and moments in her life. She was curious, resilient despite life's adversities and often she was the life of the party. In her last year's, her favorite words she often repeated were "Attitude of Gratitude" and she had her caregivers say this phrase in their greetings to her. She loved the arts, museums and plays. Her favorite music included the Bee Gees, and ABBA. She discovered the music of Bon Iver while living in Eau Claire, WI. She often sought and found sanctuary in nature. Her go-to place in the Twin Cities metro area was the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, MN. Naida was an artist, drawing and painting, and an avid knitter. Naida’s children also recall Naida’s interesting quirks. Her name “Naida” is a mash-up of her maternal grandparents’ names, Anna, and Ida. As a child, in an accident, she lost her right thumb: She loved to show how she hitchhiked with one left thumb. Her hobbies included knitting, painting (early years) and gardening Naida’s greatest achievement was her influence on her seven children. In the last year of her life, as her health declined, she expressed a specific message of love and gratitude for each child and their spouse. Arrangements for Naida's Celebration of Life this spring/early summer will be detailed at a later date. There also will be a dedication for a memorial bench placed at the site of "Naida's Tree" on the Episcopal Homes campus, St. Paul, MN. Her family asks that donations be made in Naida’s name to the Episcopal Homes Foundations, at www.episcopalhomesfoundation.org or Episcopal Homes Foundation, 490 East Lynnhurst Ave., St. Paul, MN 55104.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Naida Colby, please visit Tribute Store
A Memorial Tree was planted for Naida
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Anderson Funeral Home
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In Loving Memory
1929 - 2024
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