|Birth: ||Dec. 2, 1925|
|Death: ||Jul. 3, 2009|
Obituary from the Philadelphia Inquirer, dated Monday, July 6, 2009:
Michael Collins Jr.
Mike Collins, 83, a career soldier, Command Sergeant Major, and combat veteran of World War II, Korea, and Viet Nam died Friday July 3, 2009 at University of Pennsylvania Hospital due to complications from a brain tumor.
A Philadelphia native, Sergeant Major Collins lived in East Norriton, Montgomery County, since 1952. He graduated from St. John's High School in Manayunk in 1943 and was drafted into the Army. He then volunteered for service in the infantry. His Army career began with the 87th Infantry Division, fighting in the Saar and the Battle of the Bulge. He later fought in Korea and Viet Nam, retiring in 1971. As a result of Agent Orange exposure in South East Asia, he contracted Chronic Lymphoid Leukemia, and was pronounced 100% disabled by the Veterans Administration. Despite this, he then completed a second career as a civilian Army personnel specialist for the 79th Army Reserve Command in Willow Grove, retiring again in 1991. He finally completed his BS in Tax Accounting in 1986. For the remainder of his life, he assisted with the taxes of the families of his deceased army comrades.
After the Roe vs. Wade decision, he participated in decades of peaceful protest, prayer vigils, and civil disobedience, leading to over sixty arrests. After a federal conviction in Allentown, PA, in the late 90's, he was offered probation and immediate release if he would merely pledge to stop seeking arrest. He retorted to the judge that "at his age, he anticipated standing before another judge in a few years - and he wasn't about to jeopardize his soul for the sake of a federal judge in Allentown". The judge, noting his leukemia and service in three wars, ordered him released anyway.
He was prayerfully surrounded by his family when he passed. Mike was a devout member of St. Titus Catholic Church in East Norriton, PA. For 21 years, he delivered food contributions from Genuardi's Supermarkets to the Missionary Sisters of Charity soup kitchen in Norristown. Following in his footsteps, his sons have completed three tours in Iraq, with two others leaving for Afghanistan and Djibouti in July and August.
He was married and devoted to the late Jane T. (Shank) Collins. He is loved and missed by his seven children: Michael J Collins III and Karen (Sheplock) Collins of Phoenixville, Thomas P. Collins and Gerrie (Gallagher) Collins of East Norriton, Robert P. Collins and Connie (Suwinski) of Ambler, Patricia E. Collins Angelos and William A. Angelos of Devon, Donald W. Collins and Patricia (Stromberg) Collins, of Trooper, John J. Collins and Wendy (Ogden) Collins, of North Wales, and Jane T Collins of West Norriton. He was also a proud grandfather of twenty one grandchildren and one great grandchild. He is also missed by his older brother Thomas Collins (Brother Jerome), a Trappist monk in Spencer MA, a twin sister Margaret (Peggy) Collins, of Southhampton PA, and younger sister Mary (Collins) Moffa of Chalfont, PA.
On Tuesday, July 7th, there will be a visitation opportunity at Saint Titus Roman Catholic Church (3006 Keenwood Rd, Norristown PA) from 10:00 to 11:30 AM, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:30 AM. In lieu of flowers, he had requested contributions to the Missionary Sisters of Charity, 630 De Kalb Street, Norristown PA 19401,or to St. Titus Church (address above). Family services are by Boyd-Horrox of East Norriton; 1-800-GIVNISH.
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Created by: Kit and Morgan Benson
Record added: Jul 06, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 39156098
Added: Apr. 4, 2014
Words alone are inadequate to express my gratitude for your great service in preserving our country's freedom in three different wars! I will honor you in the only way that I can . . . by remembering you always. May you rest in peace.|
Charles A. Lewis
Added: Aug. 25, 2010
Thank you for your service to our country during World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam War. Your service in the 79th ARCOM will never be forgotten; you were a mainstay of the entire unit. Rest in peace, soldier; you are not forgotten.|
Kit and Morgan Benson
Added: Jul. 6, 2009