If there was ever anyone whose birth name should have remained with her for her entire life, it was Colette Lebourg. Born on April 23, 1940, Colette was the only child of Maurice and Marcelle Lebourg, descendants of proud two French families. Colette was the epitome of a French grand dame --- glamorous, charming and fun, and someone with whom you would always want to share gossip or a good political story while enjoying a glass of French wine or champagne, with a meal that included sliced avocados, of course.
Colette was a Houston native who had wonderful memories of her childhood. From chasing fireflies to sleeping on a screened porch in the summer to feel the Gulf breeze, Houston nights could not have been more idyllic. Colette also loved her parents’ weekend home in Colorado County. It was there that she entertained friends and had fun with her family.
Colette passed away on May 15, 2020 after a valiant battle against Myasthenia Gravis disease. She was diagnosed more than 30 years ago and spent the ensuing years battling the disease with an incredibly positive attitude and great determination. Because of her illness, she left an impressive career that began as an aide to Houston Mayor Fred Hofheinz, Jr. She capitalized on her contacts and political savvy to become the legislative director at the Houston Chamber of Commerce where her rolodex was legendary. She was instrumental in curbing the proliferation of billboards across Harris County, improving transportation and establishing important political alliances between the Houston business community and the Texas Legislature. Colette was a pioneer in supporting women in legislative roles. She was generous with her advice to employees as well as friends, both career and personal.
Colette is survived by her children Michele Griffiths and her husband Richard, two grandchildren Auden and Lulu Griffiths and her son William Grinstead. She is also survived by caregivers Sharrie Prejean, Felipa Huipz and Efrain Lopez, and countless friends and admirers. Colette had several dogs, which she dearly loved, especially her springer spaniel called Misty that always made her “happy, happy, happy.”
A private service will be held for immediate family on May 18, 2020. In lieu of customary remembrances and for those desiring to do so, memorial contributions in memory of Colette Grinstead may be directed to Houston Humane Society.
Houston Humane Society
14700 Almeda Road, Houston TX 77053