Carma Jean Carlentini Colanino

Carma Jean Carlentini Colanino

October 2, 1945 – August 16, 2022

Carma Jean and Fred were together for over 62 years – she was 14 and he was 15 when they started dating and they recently celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary.

Carma Jean was a 29 year breast cancer survivor and a 17 year pancreatic cancer survivor.  Her hard work, courage, and dedication to breast cancer awareness was apparent as a Reach to Recovery volunteer and as a former coordinator of the Look Good, Feel Good program at the Methodist Cancer Center. She was also the inspiration for the Special Friends Celebrations that began in 1995 that hosted a luncheon for 50 survivors. Under the direction of her husband Fred, the inaugural Special Friends Luncheon grew in 1996 to include a golf classic and luncheon that featured Susan Ford Bales, the daughter of former President Gerald Ford and Mrs. Betty Ford. In only four years the celebration grew to a three-day event that featured a “Breast Cancer Survivors Brunch” that drew over 800 guests, and included 503 Breast Cancer Survivors, a Celebrity Golf Challenge and “A Night with the Stars” that attracted 21 Hollywood celebrities (hosted by Marg Helgenberger and Alan Rosenberg) and almost 4,000 participants (which included more than 400 volunteers). In the year 2000, of the funds generated by this event, $100,000 was used in a joint Special Friends, Methodist and Jennie Edmundson Hospitals advertising campaign to promote cancer awareness.

In 2005, when Carma Jean was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer she focused her efforts on volunteering for PanCan to help raise awareness and funds.

I, Fred, thank the Lord for my wife Carma Jean. Her faith and spirit uplifted me, and everyone around her daily. She was, and will continue to be a motivation to everyone that knew her.

Most of all she was the most kind and respected person that anyone could know.

She was preceded in death by her father, Pete Carlentini; mother, Jean Carlentini. She is survived by her husband, Fred Colanino; son, Scott Colanino; granddaughter, Leanna Lucia Colanino; brother, Carl Carlentini; sister, Mary Jane Carlentini Braeglemann; brothers in-law, Anthony (Butch) Colanino, Nick Colanino; sisters-in law: Camille Colanino Johns, Barb Colanino Amato, Nanny Colanino Parker, Kathy Colanino Tyler, Laura Carlentini; cousin, Carol Carlentini Wilczewski; many nieces and nephews; Patty Berry Kennedy, her most cherished and loyal friend since they were five (5) years old; many other relatives and countless friends.

VISITATION: Sunday, August 21, 2022, 3:00-5:00PM followed by VIGIL: 5:00PM, all at West Center Chapel. MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Monday, August 22, 2022, 10:30AM, St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church, 1248 S 10th St, Omaha, NE. In lieu of flowers memorials will be directed by the family.

To view a live broadcast of the Services, please visit and click on the “View Live Cast” button at the top of the home page.


  • James V Braegelmann Brother-in-law Posted August 21, 2022 10:42 am

    RIP Carma Jean

  • James V Braegelmann Brother-in-law Posted August 21, 2022 10:43 am

    Deepest sympathy!

  • Carl and Ann Marie Caniglia Posted August 21, 2022 12:42 pm

    Dear Fred, Carl and I were o sorry to hear about Carmajean. I always enjoyed your Special Friends Celebrations.You were both so gracious and welcoming and made some very happy memories for me.She was a very special lady and we will pray for her and your family.Carl and Ann Marie Caniglia

  • Jane Brunckhorst Posted August 21, 2022 5:00 pm

    Dear Fred, Randy and I are so very sorry to learn you have lost your beloved Carma Jean. We was a beautiful, gracious lady. The world will miss her beautiful smile and loving heart

  • Suzanne Rogert Posted August 24, 2022 2:12 pm

    I met Carm through PANCAN – and she was always so willing to help in any way. She was a joy, and such bright light for those who were struggling with a recent diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. My thoughts are with her family.

  • Kevin James Trouba Posted August 29, 2022 8:29 am

    Sending prayers and thoughts for a most beautiful woman, mother, wife, and spirit. I have many fond memories of Mrs. Colanino (and Mr. Colanino) and growing up in Omaha in the 1970s. My brother and I were friends with Scott and I will never forget the love and kindness that I experienced in the Colanino household…memories are forever. Thank you Mrs. Colanino and know you (and your loved ones) will always be in our hearts. K. Trouba

  • Sherry Valentic Posted October 24, 2022 11:27 am

    Fred & Scott, I had a friend send me this information, I’m so sorry. I think of you guys often and the fun we had in our old neighborhood. Scott, you were such a cute baby and toddler, That was the last time I’ve seen you. Blessing to you as you take this next journey in your life. Sherry Valentic (Denver, CO)

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