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Donald Collins
30 November 1925 - 10 March 2018
Funeral Date: 16 March 2018
flagCaribou -- Donald Frederick Collins, World War II veteran, public servant, community leader, and former president of S.W. Collins Co., died March 10 of congestive heart failure and complications of Alzheimer’s disease in Caribou. He was 92. A native of Caribou, Don was born Nov. 30, 1925, the second of four sons of Samuel Wilson and Elizabeth Black Collins. At 18, he left the University of Maine in Orono to enlist in the U.S. Army and was assigned to the 87th Infantry Division in Europe. Wounded twice in the Battle of the Bulge, he was awarded a Combat Infantry Badge, a Purple Heart with an Oak Leaf Cluster and a Bronze Star.  Following his military service, Don completed his education at the university, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated in 1949 with a B.A. in business administration. He married Patricia R. McGuigan of Port Jervis, N.Y., his wife of 70 years.  Don succeeded his father as president of the family’s lumber and building-materials business, which has been operated continuously by the Collins family since its founding in 1844. For several years, he also managed Collins Construction Company, building houses on his family’s former farm to meet the demand for housing following W. W. II. Retired in 1992, he continued to serve on S.W. Collins Company’s board.  Like his father and grandfather, Don was deeply committed to public service. He served as mayor of Caribou, as a state representative to the Maine Legislature, and as a Maine State Senator for four terms. He and his late brother Sam Collins of Rockland were the first brothers in Maine history to serve simultaneously in the Maine Senate. Service in all spheres was a hallmark of Don’s life. He was a director of Maine Community Foundation, Maine Public Broadcasting Corporation and Loring Development Authority, and president of Caribou Hospital District, Maine Retail Lumber Dealers Association and the Caribou Rotary Club. He chaired the Cary Hospital Board and the building committee for the new hospital, the Caribou Chamber of Commerce, the Caribou Development Corporation, and the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. A longtime member of the American Legion Post and the V.F.W., he served on the Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery Committee.  Don served many years as a director of the Maine Mutual Insurance Company, now MMG Insurance, the Aroostook Trust Company and Maine National Bank.  For his alma mater, he chaired the University of Maine Foundation and was a member of the University of Maine Board of Visitors. He also served as president of the Foundation of the University of Maine at Presque Isle. His leadership and community service earned him many honors including Caribou Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year, the Maine Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s Business Leader of the Year, Maine Merchants Association Retailer of the Year, the University of Maine Black Bear Award and Rotary’s Paul Harris Fellow Award. Don was inducted into the Northern Maine Community College’s Construction Hall of Fame. He was also the Honorary Grand Marshall of Caribou’s Sesquicentennial in 2009.  Don was a member of the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Caribou, where he sang tenor in the choir for decades. In later years he worshiped at the Gray Memorial United Methodist Church. Besides his wife Pat, Don is survived by their six children: daughter Kathleen Wiesendanger and her husband John of Leland, N.C.; son Michael and his wife Debbie of Saco; daughter U.S. Senator Susan Collins and her husband Tom Daffron of Bangor; daughter Nancy Collins and her husband Richard Sperry of Haverford, Pa.; and sons Sam and Gregg and their wives, Lise and Lori, respectively, of Caribou; 11 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.  Visiting hours will be at Mockler Funeral Home, 24 Reservoir St., Caribou, on Thursday, March 15, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. A funeral will be held Friday, March 16, at 11 a.m. at United Methodist Church, 2 Prospect St., Caribou, with the Rev. Tim Wilcox officiating.   For those who wish to honor his memory, donations may be made to Gray Memorial United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 69, Caribou, ME 04736, or the S.W. Collins Scholarship at the University of Maine, c/o University of Maine Foundation, 2 Alumni Place, Orono, ME 04469-5792. 
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  • James
  • 12 March 2018
My deepest sympathy for your loss. What seems to be a long life is never long enough where our loved ones are concerned. Our Heavenly Father Jehovah feels the same way. That is why He has promised to swallow up death forever and soon end all our suffering. (Rev. 21:3-5; Isa. 25:8) May His promises be a soothing balm for your grieving hearts.
  • Douglas L. Giroux
  • 12 March 2018
My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Collins family. Mr. Collins' life was gift from God, and all that he did in his life was his gift to God.

With deepest sympathy,
Doug Giroux
  • Monson Family
  • 12 March 2018
Dear Family,

Our sympathy in this time of your sorrow and loss. Don was admired and respected by all who had the pleasure of knowing him and the Collins family. Our prayers are with you.

The Monson Family, Katheryn, Dierdre and Greg.
  • Lauri StPeter
  • 12 March 2018
Collins Family, My sincerest condolences as you put your husband, father and grandfather in his final resting place. He was truly an amazing man and leader in our hometown of Caribou. His legacy will live on for a long time as did those who have gone to rest before him. Thank you for your service to our town, state and country and RIP Sir for you have earned it.
  • Ken and Judy Atcheson
  • 13 March 2018
Dear Members of the Collins Family,

Please accept our deepest sympathies on the passing of this wonderful husband, father, grandfather, decorated veteran, public servant, and above all else an example for all to look up to. You can all take comfort and pride in being part of the heritage of this fine and humble man. I wish I had more words to express how grateful the City of Caribou, Aroostook County, and the State of Maine are to the life, work, and example of Don Collins.

May God Bless and Keep You Always!

yours, sincerely and very respectfully,
Ken and Judy Atcheson
  • Elizabeth Collins Macomber
  • 13 March 2018
Uncle Don will be lovingly remembered for his warm smile and enthusiasm for life. He leaves a legacy of devotion to his family and service to his community. Jon and I look forward to celebrating his life with the family.
  • Samuel and Kristi Saunders, Calais ME
  • 13 March 2018
Sympathy to family and friends.
  • Allen J. Voisine
  • 13 March 2018
My sympathies to the entire family, may he rest in peace in the presence of his creator and all those who have predeceased him.
  • kristenTully
  • 13 March 2018
To Susan and Patricia, I was so saddened by the passing of your dad husband and father in law. I bet when Jeff Tully did campaign i meet your mom and dad. So sorry for the family. I bet he was a great man. So sorry again.
From,
Kristen Tully
  • Paula Fowler
  • 14 March 2018
Our sincere condolences to each of you. Your husband, father, grandfather was a great man and leader who always had a kind word, smile or a wave. Prayers from the Fowlers for all of you.
  • Tom Goserud
  • 14 March 2018
Sam & Gregg (and family)

I never had the opportunity to meet your father, but his obituary was everything I would have expected.

What an incredible life and I’m sure an incredible man.

Regardless of age, it is so painful losing a father.

You will miss those memory filled days with with your Dad but you will have peace knowing that he is in a better place. He raised you all well.

Take care and our deepest sympathy.

Tom Goserud
  • April R Caron
  • 14 March 2018
So very sorry for your loss . You certainly have many wonderful memories of Don. He was distinguished & well honored. He leaves quite a legacy. Your strong faith in God will give you the peace you need in this difficult time. Just know that my prayers are with your family.

April
  • Florence Nygaard
  • 14 March 2018
I want to offer my condolences to Senator Susan Collins on the loss of her father. I live in Hodgdon, Maine and am a constituent and admirer of Ms. Collins and my thoughts and prayers are with her at this time. Her father obviously was a great man with an incredible public service history.
  • Ronald Michaud
  • 15 March 2018
We offer you and your loved ones our deepest sympathies.

Ron and Diane Michaud
  • Gary Carla Caron
  • 15 March 2018
When the Lord calls our loved ones home, He leaves a gift of memories in exchange. Hold on to your memories, and let them guide you during this time of sadness.
With Deepest Sympathy to the Collin Family
  • Rose Dubay
  • 15 March 2018
Mrs. Collins, Kitty, Susan, John and family,

My deepest sympathy for the loss of a great man. I only knew him by what I heard from John. He was well respected and served his family and country very well. Please keep all your memories close to your hearts, and after all those years, you must have a huge heart full of great moments to remember.

Condolences and prayers to all of you.

Rose Dubay
  • Phil Cyr
  • 15 March 2018
I am sorry for your loss and glad he went quick at the end. Don was an enjoyable fellow, one that I went to several times for advice, which he gladly gave. Caribou has lost a pillar in the community.
  • Brigitte
  • 16 March 2018
Lise,Sam,les filles et famille Collins un p'tit mot de réconfort pour vous dire que mes pensées sont avec vous en ce moment de tristesse au départ d'un être cher à vos yeux,espérons que se rappeller les bons moments saura mettre un peu de récomfort et de paix dans vos coeurs amitiéxxx
  • Laura Violette
  • 16 March 2018
My sympathy goes out to Pat and family. He will be greatly missed by all!

Sincerely, Laura Violette
  • Nathan and Jeannie Grass
  • 17 March 2018
To the Collins Family,
Jeannie and I were saddened to learn of Don’s passing. I have many good memories of our association while serving on the Aroostook Trust Board. We also spoke many times of his military service during WWII especially around D-Day and the Battle of the Buldge. It was like talking to history. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time.
Nate Grass
  • Cathy Everett
  • 18 March 2018
Please accept our deepest condolences to the Collins family. He was a man of the people and everyone who knew him had great respect for his accomplishments. He will be fondly remembered by the many lives he touched.
Sincerely, Jeff & Cathy Everett ~~ Bluffton, SC
  • Chris Coons
  • 18 March 2018
Dear Patricia, Susan and Collins family,

Your husband, father and grandfather was an amazing man who served our country and his community well. I know how hard it is to lose someone special and close to you, but I hope the many remembrances of his long life of public service, dedication to nation and community bring you some comfort. From his obituary it's clear that his was a life lived fully in service to others, and he made a great difference.

I hope that you will soon find that fond memories of him bring a smile to your face before they bring a tear to your eye. Please know you are in my prayers.

Yours,

Chris Coons, US Senator
  • Sister Lynn Jarrell
  • 25 March 2018
Dear Pat,

My support and sympathy at the loss of your dear husband of 70 years. May you be blessed with many, many happy memories of all the moments you shared with him over the years. I can only imagine what he must have been like based on the marvelous and inspiring experience I had in serving with you on NAC a few years ago. I pray you and your children and their children may have peacefulness now as you say farewell to Don and in the weeks to come.

My prayers,

Sister Lynn Jarrell (Ursuline Sister from Louisville, Kenturcky and was on NAC for 3 years with you)
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