She was born on April 8, 1928, in Salt Lake City, Utah, daughter of Fern Anna and George Edwin Hinckley. She had two brothers, George and Ed. She earned her bachelor’s degree in home economics from the University of Utah, then taught home economics in junior high and high school in Thatcher, Arizona, and Salt Lake City.
She and Neal were married on November 22, 1950, and were the parents of four children. After their marriage, they lived in Washington, DC, from 1952 to 1956, where he worked as a staffer in the United States Senate. When they returned to Utah, Neal took a position with the University of Utah. While he worked and served in the Church, she devoted herself to their children and supported him in his many responsibilities. She also served in the Church, from ward Primary president, Young Women president, and Relief Society president. She served as a member of the Young Women General Board. She served as a stake Relief Society president while Neal served in the Quorum of the Seventy.
Colleen traveled with Neal on his Church assignments throughout the world. She supported him during his diagnosis with leukemia in 1996 and cared for him until his passing in 2004.
She actively served in her community, most notably tutoring reading at the Guadalupe Center, volunteering at the Spina Bifida Clinic, and serving on boards for the Primary Children's Hospital and the University of Utah.
She passed away on January 17, 2016.