In Memoriam: Coleen Hersson

Coleen Joan Keenan-Hersson, 63, of Rixeyville, VA, died peacefully on Thursday, March 3, 2016, with her family at her side in Charlottesville, Virginia. Coleen was born on October 24, 1952, the daughter of Patricia Mary Keenan and Lt. Col. USA (Ret) Daniel Richard Keenan (deceased). Coleen married Noel Hersson in Sweden in the summer of 1990 after they both attended the World Cup Championship in Stockholm. Coleen’s love of horses was unquestionable, connecting people and horses together throughout Virginia. Coleen was a brilliant creative leader in her professional life and in the Virginia horse community. A graduate of W.T. Woodson High School in 1970, she continued her education at Ferrum College, then went on to Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, VA, studying biology.

Coleen was a life-long horsewoman of extraordinary caliber. She was a major contributor to CDCTA (Commonwealth Dressage and Combined Training Association) as the VP of Eventing. In this capacity she ran both the spring and fall horse trials for over 20 years. She was always interested in the progress of both horse and rider. Coleen was the first to offer a course for paraplegic riders to become judges in eventing. Coleen and Noel shared their love for each other and horses over 33 years together. They enjoyed organizing horse trials, three- day eventing, and participating in fox hunting and pleasure riding. She dedicated her life to Noel, family, horse community friends, horses and loving dogs (giant schnauzers).

Her working career was varied. She was putting computers online at 3M long before the world became interconnected. For the last five years, she served as Director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) at Volunteer Prince William and was highly respected throughout the Commonwealth.

She is survived by her loving husband, Noel Hersson; mother, Patricia Mary Keenan; brother, Daniel Michael Keenan; sister, Theresa Ann Keenan Wilson; niece, Katherine Scott Wilson; nephews, Thomas Patrick Wilson, Michael Connor Keenan and Matthew Colton Keenan and her horses and dogs.

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