Miffany Ann “Miffy” Colby

Miffany Ann “Miffy” Colby

Miffany Ann “Miffy” Colby


Miffany Ann (Miffy) Colby, 57, died unexpectedly of cardiac arrythmia on Oct. 26, 2022.

Her legal name was Anglicized from the family heritage name, ‘Myfanwy,’ given by her Welsh paternal grandmother, Enid.

Miffy graduated from Iowa City High School in 1983. Unfortunately, she suffered from disabling mental illness from her teenage years onward. She endured an odyssey of stays in psychiatric hospitals and inpatient facilities, punctuated by extended periods of better health when she could live more independently in apartments or group homes. Amazingly, she made the best of her circumstances. During periods of stability, Miffy’s wonderful qualities re-emerged: her intelligence, imagination, sense of humor, kind heart and generosity. Ultimately, the toll of her chronic mental illness compromised her physical health and shortened her life.

Miffy loved animals. She was fortunate to have two cats, Buster and Bella, during the times she lived independently. She relished updates about her family’s pets too. Miffy enjoyed watching comedies and nature programs. She also loved music and art. She cherished visits to her parents’ homes and the Refle family farm in Clayton County.

Miffy had recently moved to the Solon Nursing Care Center after the closure of the Grinnell Care Center, her previous residence.

Her parents thank the nurses and staff at the care centers and also Grinnell Regional Medical Center, Allen Hospital in Waterloo, and the University of Iowa Hospitals during her recent hospitalizations for serious infections. Over her lifetime, innumerable medical staff, health aides, social workers, and other professionals cared for Miffy with compassion and skill. Her family is deeply grateful to them all. They are also grateful for Social Security and Medicaid, two public programs crucial for supporting many people’s basic needs, Miffy included.

Miffany is survived by her parents, Dr. Anthony Colby and Hutha Sayre; her sister, Jen Colby (Rich Wilcox); and her stepsiblings, Gordon Sayre (Marsha Ginsberg), Nathan Sayre (Sasha Gennet) and Laura Sayre (Michael Evans). She is also survived by numerous cousins, aunts, uncles, extended and chosen family and friends. Miffy had an especially close relationship with her aunt, Marie Colby.

Miffy was preceded in death by her stepfather, Robert Sayre.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Donations in her memory may be made to the Iowa City Friends of the Animal Center Foundation, CommUnity Crisis Services, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Johnson County. Acts of service and kindness to people and animals in need in her honor are also appreciated. Condolences may be shared at www.lensingfuneral.com.

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