Colette (Gendreau) Kehew, 83, of Portsmouth, RI, passed away peacefully on June 19th surrounded by her husband Peter, children, and grandchildren. She was the daughter of the late Armand and Marion Gendreau of Portsmouth, RI.

Colette was born in Fall River, MA at her aunt’s house during a blizzard, but grew up in the “Weyerhaeuser” neighborhood in Portsmouth, RI. She graduated from St. Katherine’s Academy in Newport, RI and soon after she met her future husband Peter. Colette worked as a telephone operator after High School but soon became a full time mother. During her adult life she also worked at Raytheon and was a real estate agent.

As a mother she was the rock of the family and always managed to get everything done on time. She was never one to complain about anything. She raised her four children with a firm and equally loving touch.

She is survived by her husband Peter. They recently celebrated their 60th anniversary last summer.

She is also survived by her sons Michael Kehew of Middletown, RI, Dr. Kenneth and Mary Ellen Kehew of Portsmouth, RI, David and Barbara Kehew of Portsmouth, RI, and her daughter Nancy (Kehew) Vaillancourt of Portsmouth, RI.

Her surviving grandchildren are Elizabeth (Kehew) Perry, her husband Robert Perry, Erin Kehew, Brenna (Kehew) Sculley and her husband Joe Sculley, Katherine (Kehew) Westrom and her husband Josh Westrom, Colleen Kehew, Ashley Kehew, Brian Kehew, Jennifer Kehew, Daniel Kehew and his fiance Kelsey Dalrymple, Jacob Vaillancourt and his husband Tim Pranaitis, Neil Vaillancourt and his fiance Maryssa Kneeland, Jamielynne Vaillancourt and her fiance TJ Torres, Kevin Vaillancourt and Nicholas Vaillancourt.

Colette also leaves behind two Great Grandchidren, Isla and Gavin Perry.

She is predeceased by her sister Connie (Gendreau) Swift, her daughter-in-law Maura (Kelly) Kehew, and her oldest grandchild Megan (Kehew) Baroni.

Family gatherings for birthdays and holidays through the years were often epic events and always full of joy. The family will greatly miss her presence and her sense of humor. Through the years “Grandma” always remembered birthdays with cards and gifts, and mastered the art of memorable gifting. Once asked why she bought the funny looking stuffed animals she gave as presents, she responded with, “I felt sorry for them!”

Visiting hours will be held on Thursday June 22, 2017, from 4:00-7:00PM at the Connors Funeral Home, 55 West Main Road Portsmouth, RI.

Burial will be private.

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).