Michael A. Collins, 69
Michael A. Collins, 69, of Wareham, passed away Friday morning at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, surrounded by his loving family following a courageous fight with cancer.
He lived an incredibly full and rich life that traversed many interests. Michael was born in 1953 and was the beloved eldest son of the late Theresa (Monahan) and Arthur F. Collins, Jr. He was a star student at Bishop Stang High School, where he learned the value of faith, loyalty, and hard work. After graduation, Michael enlisted in the Army, rising through the ranks to become a member of the elite 75th Ranger Regiment. After four years of active duty service to the country that he loved, while traveling all over the world, Mike continued on as an instructor in the Army Reserve, teaching at both Massachusetts and Rhode Island Military Academies for 22 years. At the same time, Michael joined the United States Postal Service, where he spent over 20 years as a dedicated employee.
While working at USPS, he pursued his dual passions of education and history – obtaining bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Political Science and History at Bridgewater State University. As a swansong to his professional career, Michael achieved a lifelong goal, teaching history at Wareham High School, where he also served as Dean of Students and started a Garden Club. Michael’s military experience led him to establish the school’s Junior ROTC Program, which has enrolled over 1500 students and continues to thrive today. He was respected by his colleagues and loved by the many students whose lives he touched.
In 2014, Michael retired from teaching and enjoyed his personal pursuits of his leisure; serving as four-time President of the Parkwood Beach Association, active in the Democratic Town Committee, tending to his garden and yard, reading, telling endless stories about his adventures, never missing an episode of Jeopardy (answering nearly every question correctly!), and spending time with his loved ones.
He is survived by many members of his beloved family. He was married to the love of his life, Patricia (Hogan) Collins, for 39 years. He leaves behind his three greatest accomplishments, his children Catherine Collins and Jayme Amaral, Michael Collins, and Maureen (Collins) Kane and her husband Shaun and his three most treasured grandchildren, Nora and Joseph Amaral and Lucas Kane. He was a legendary big brother to his sister Jane (Collins) Donahue and her husband John, and brothers Mark Collins and his wife Betsy Walton and John Collins and his wife Denise. He also leaves behind holes in the hearts of his seventeen nieces and nephews and other members of his large, extended family and friends.
Visiting hours will be held at Chapman Funerals & Cremations, 2599 Cranberry Hwy., Warehamon Monday, August 22 from 4:00pm to 8:00pm. Funeral will be from the funeral home on Tuesday, August 23rd at 9 AM followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Patrick’s Church, 94 High St., Wareham at 10 am. Burial will follow at St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Wareham.