On the morning of Thursday, November 5th, 2015, well-known Canton resident James Michael Collins passed away quietly at his home, with his loving wife at his side, following a debilitating illness. He was 78 years of age.
Born November 1st, 1937 in Elmira, NY, he was the son of James and Elsie (Denkenberger) Collins. He graduated Canton Area High School with the class of 1956 and served with the U. S. Army from 1957 to 1959.
He was married to the former Anne C. “Kay” VanNoy, and together they raised two sons.
For more than three decades Mike was an agent for Prudential Insurance, during the days when it was customary for insurance agents to call on their clients at home on a regular basis. This developed his familiarity with every back road and byway in the county, a knowledge that would serve him well in his post retirement occupation as a funeral director’s assistant.
Mike was also a consummate outdoorsman who enjoyed fishing, hunting and trap shooting. In fact, this year despite his illness, he mustered the strength to bag one more deer. Mike was a communicant of St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church and attended regularly for as long as his health permitted. He also lived his faith outside of church as well as in. Soft-spoken and with a perpetual smile, Mike strode through life with a positive attitude and a helping hand for those in need.
He is survived by his wife, Kay, at home, son Douglas (& Tianne) Collins of Sykesville, MD, brother Thomas Collins of Canton, sister Susan (& Dan) Nowak of Mansfield and grandchildren Carisa (& Lucas) Ziems of Morgantown, W VA and Dylan Collins of Sykesville, MD. In addition to his parents, Mike was preceded in death by his son, David Collins and sister-in-law Jacqueline Collins.
Calling hours were held Monday, November 9 at Morse & Kleese Funeral Home, 94 N. Center St., Canton, with a recitation of the Holy Rosary, led by the Rev. Michael McCormick, during the evening visitation.
On Tuesday, the 10th a Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated by Father McCormick at St. Michael's Church. Interment will follow in Windfall Cemetery.