Anita Catherine Brunton Colello passed away at the age of 76 in the morning hours of September 27th, 2022, after a courageous 12-year battle against cancer.
Anita was born to Ralph Lowell Brunton and Verna Agnes Brunton on April 28th, 1946, in Culver City, California. She grew up in Culver City with her brother, Robert “Bob” Homer Brunton. She attended Notre Dame Academy High School with many special ladies that she kept in close contact with until the day she passed. She graduated from Notre Dame Academy in 1964 and went on to receive her Associate degree in 1984 from Moorpark College.
She met her husband, Victor Pat Colello, in grammar school. They began dating after he returned from serving in the military and wed on June 19th, 1965. They shared 57 years raising their children, dune buggying, traveling, golfing, collecting cars, renovating rental houses, and making friends and memories together. They opened their home to friends, family, and even exchange students from all over the world. They shared their passion for serving their community with Victor being a Los Angeles Police Officer and Anita being in Education. They believed in the same core values: love your family and friends, work hard, be honest, and give back.
Vic and Anita had two children, Geno Patrick and Gina Marie, who they raised together in Simi Valley, California. Geno and Gina grew up participating in sports, scouts, and CCD, where Anita could always be found cheering on the sidelines, being their scout leader, and volunteering and raising her kids in the Catholic faith. She also took great pride in being Godmother to Susie Walloch Leisten, Wendy Ann Turley, and Jared Gigliello.
Simi Valley was her home until the day she passed, where she and Vic made countless memories and special friends who became family. Throughout their time living on Highgate Place, they created a network of friends who loved and supported one another in times of good and bad. After losing her best friend, Pam Maples, with whom she shared a love of flowers, Anita and Vic became the honorary grandparents to Pam’s grandchildren, Ainsley and Lainey.
Geno and Gina attended Atherwood Elementary School. Anita volunteered at Atherwood so often that they offered her a position as a Classroom Aide. She pioneered the development of and ran Atherwood’s computer lab, and it was one of her passions in life to be able to educate children. After working at Atherwood for 24 years, she retired in 1998 to begin taking care of her granddaughter, Jessica Marie Gooding.
Anita’s greatest joy was helping to raise Jessica. They spent countless mornings watching Winnie the Pooh, baking, and creating an unbreakable bond. Anita was active in Jessica’s education, and was extremely proud when Jessica graduated from La Reina High School in 2013, and over the moon about Jessica receiving both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from University of San Diego.
In typical Anita fashion, she made sure her granddaughter participated in numerous activities, but when Anita walked into Fieldstone Riding Club, horseback riding became a passion that she and Jessica shared. Anita considered Fieldstone Riding Club her sanctuary. The entire family could be found together at Fieldstone and horse shows, where they created many memories and cheered on the riders. Anita not only supported Jessica, but became everyone’s Barn Grandma.
Anita placed family above all, and started a tradition of an annual Christmas Party that brought together her and Vic’s nieces and nephews, and she loved seeing their families grow. It was an event that she held dear to her heart and it provided an opportunity for everyone to create lifelong memories together.
Anita is survived by her husband, Victor Colello, her daughter and son-in-law, Gina and Matt Gooding, her granddaughter, Jessica Gooding, her brother and sister-in-law, Bob and Cathy Brunton, many nieces, nephews, and their children, her dear friends and her loving dog, Tucker.
Anita has since been reunited in Heaven with her parents, her beloved son Geno, her dogs, and her favorite horse, Jordan.
Services will be held on Monday, October 17th, 2022, as follows:
• Viewing: 9:00 to 10:30am at Reardon Mortuary - 2636 Sycamore Drive, Simi Valley, CA 93065
• Services: 11:00 to 12:00 at St. Rose of Lima - 1325 Royal Avenue, Simi Valley, CA 93065
• Burial: 12:15 to 1:00 at Assumption Cemetery - 1380 Fitzgerald Road, Simi Valley, CA 93065
• Reception: 1:30 to 5:00 at Rancho De Las Palmas - 3566 Sunset Valley Road, Moorpark, CA 93021 - Lunch will be served.
We are requesting everyone wear bright colors or floral prints in honor of Anita who loved flowers so much!
Please bring a rose to the church. We will have special vases at the altar.
If you'd like to send flowers for the services, please send them to the church. Maria's Flowers in Simi Valley is near and dear to our hearts.
If you'd like to make a donation in Anita’s name, we would love it if you donated to UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Care Center who gave us 12 precious years with her after her diagnosis.
Words of gratitude for all of the love and support cannot convey how much it all means to us.