Virginia Colleen Tengler, known affectionately as Colleen, embarked on her eternal journey to celebrate her heavenly birthday on Sept. 13, 2023. 

Colleen was a beloved Mom and Mimi, leaving behind a legacy of abounding love, faith and cherished memories that will forever echo in the hearts of those who knew and loved her. 

Colleen was born on May 7, 1939, to Nolan and Wave Akins in the picturesque town of Houston, Mo., Texas County! She was raised with love and grew up into a bright and vivacious young woman. In 1957, she graduated from Houston High School and then went on to pursue higher education at the University of Missouri from 1957 to 1959 studying fashion merchandising. 

During a serendipitous summer job at the US Army base, Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo., Colleen crossed paths with the love of her life, Terry Tengler. Their connection was so strong that, astonishingly, just 40 days later, on Oct. 4, 1959, they embarked on a beautiful journey of marriage that would span 62 incredible years. Together, they were blessed with three wonderful children: Kelly, Chris and Conrad. 

Terry, an architect, designed their cherished home in Spring, Texas, where their family flourished. It was within these walls that they found not only comfort and security but also faith. Colleen’s spiritual journey led her to Spring Bible Church, where she discovered the unwavering love of Jesus Christ and, in 1973, was baptized in the family swimming pool during a memorable church picnic. 

Colleen possessed a passion for nurturing life, both in the garden and poolside, where she lovingly taught swimming lessons to countless individuals, including her own children and grandchildren. Her home was a haven of joy, filled with treasured memories of pool parties, marshmallow roasts, “The Garden Room” and beautifully decorated tables where laughter and love flowed freely. 

Her unwavering devotion to her family knew no bounds, and she had a remarkable ability to make each child and grandchild feel uniquely cherished and cherished they were. 

Colleen found immense joy in her faith, her family, her church community, and her hometown of Houston. The pilgrimage back to her roots was a tradition she held dear, delighting in sharing the stories of her youth with her children and grandchildren while visiting her parents and exploring “The Place” and local landmarks like Dog’s Bluff. 

Colleen is survived by her daughter, Kelly Hutchinson, and her husband, Chris; her son, Chris Tengler, and his wife, Debi; her son, Conrad Tengler, and his wife, Lynn; her granddaughter, Leslie Dumont, her husband, Matt, and their cherished children, Beren, Lily, Cahal, and Amelia; her grandson, Blake Hutchinson, his wife, Jessica, and their beloved children, Adam, Jace, and Colt; her granddaughter, Lauren Gasaway, her husband, Cash, and their precious daughter, Saige; her grandson, Captain Christopher Tengler, US Army; her sister-in-law, Kym Akins; her niece, McKenzie Beaver, her husband Trent, and their daughter, Lennon; her nephew, Coby Akins, his wife Ashlie, and their daughter, McKenna; her sister-in-law, Kay Giles, and her children, daughter, Debra Suggs, and son, John Suggs preceded in death. 

In her reunion with her beloved husband of 62 years, Terry Tengler, Colleen also joins her parents, Nolan and Wave Akins; her brother, Nolan Don Akins; and her baby sister, Carolyn, who will now be welcomed into her loving arms once more. 

We love you, Mimi! Colleen’s life was a testament to the profound impact one can have through love, faith and family. Her legacy will continue to flourish in the hearts of those fortunate enough to have known her. “We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19. 

The family will receive friends from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023 at Klein-Champion Forest. Graveside Service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, at Houston National Cemetery. For more information go to


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