Born in Waukesha, WI on Aug 26, 1948
Died on Nov 12, 2015 and resided in Green Bay, WI
Michael J. “Mike” Collins, 67, formerly of the greater Milwaukee area, currently of Green Bay, passed away at St. Vincent Hospital Thursday, November 12, 2015, after a short illness. He was born in Waukesha on August 26, 1948. Mike graduated from Waukesha Catholic Memorial High School, Dominican College in Racine, and Marquette University with a Master of Arts in History. Over the course of his life, his love of learning remained constant. He loved to learn about things, and he loved to learn about people, genuinely interested in everyone he met. You may have met Mike as a stranger, but you left as a friend.
Mike married Barbara Dano who preceded him in death in 2001. After dating Heather Blue previously, the two were destined to meet again. Their love blossomed and they were married in 2013. After his marriage, Mike retired and made his home in Green Bay where he was active at both St. Matthew Parish and Union Congregational Church.
Mike’s passion for learning kept him active in Learning in Retirement at UWGB, studying history, travelling and exploring his family tree. He enjoyed watching sports, in particular, Canadian football and Brewer baseball, but his other passion was baseball, which he played up until August of this year. Mike played vintage baseball with the Milwaukee Grays, a game that combined his love of history and sports, utilizing rules from the 1860’s.
Although Mike had many jobs, he had a love for teaching. He mentored children in middle school, both in the classroom and as a coach. Even after his “retirement”, Mike subbed for the GRACE system. He and Heather opened their hearts and their home to a foreign exchange student, Suzie Racz, of Szeged, Hungary. Mike coached Suzie on the Notre Dame Academy JV basketball team, and she joined him on the diamond as a baseball player.
The time that Mike cherished most, was time spent with family. From time spent with Heather, to time spent with their four legged family, Aristotle and KayCee, from his brother and sisters, to his nieces and nephews, this was most precious.
He is survived by his wife, Heather Blue Collins, Green Bay; two sisters, a brother and their spouses, Mary and Harry Conley, Lima, Ohio; Richard and Genevieve Collins, Menomonee Falls; Suzanne and Thomas Dankert, Hartland; step-children, Maureen (McGuire) Murray, Katie (McGuire) Kippels, Kevin McGuire; many nieces, nephews and extended family and friends.
He was also preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence and Helen (Howard) Collins and a sister, Patricia Collins.
Visitation will be from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. Wednesday at St. Matthew Catholic Church, 120 Saint Matthew Street, Green Bay. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. at the church with Rev. Robert Kabat officiating. A memorial fund has been established to benefit the National Arbor Day Foundation, the American Cancer Society, or Happily Ever After Animal Sanctuary Inc.
Memorial Gathering: Wednesday Nov 18, 2015, 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. at St. Matthew Catholic Church
Memorial Service: Wednesday Nov 18, 2015, 11:00 a.m. at St. Matthew Catholic Church
Served by Proko-Wall Funeral Director: Jeane Smits
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