Jeanne B. Collias

June 13, 1931September 26, 2020

Jeanne B. Collias died on September 26th late of Westport for the last fifteen years, but an active community leader primarily in Fall River. Born in Fall River to Anatole Boissoneau and Rose (Brule’) Boissoneau she graduated from Durfee High School in 1948, attended then Connecticut College for Woman (now Connecticut University) in New London for a year, then transferred to the New England Conservatory of Music where she continued her love of the piano which she began at age 8. She received her degree in 1952, then remained at the school and obtained her master’s degree. She began her professional career teaching piano at Elmhurst Academy in Providence.

In 1954 she married her high school sweetheart Peter, who was in law school and proceeded to help finance his law school efforts. She also produced her first two children, Michele and George, and with her family followed her husband’s career upon graduation to Washington, where he worked as an attorney for a federal agency, the Housing and Home Finance Agency.

Upon the sudden death of her father-in-law, in 1958 she returned to Fall River with her family to care for her mother-in-law and to look after her husband in his law practice and to care for their two new sons, John and Philip, despite the onset of rheumatoid arthritis at age 30, which persisted throughout her life.

Active in cultural affairs she was President of the Junior League, the Fall River Women’s Club and number of local women’s organizations. She was elected president of the YMCA, the first woman ever to hold that position at the time, where the elders were reluctant to make hard decisions to avoid financial distress. She discontinued failing programs, sold assets and cleared matters to redirect and return to the Y to success.

She was elected Director and Clerk of BankFive and served from 1976 to 2006. She also found time to run a Diet Center franchise in Somerset, Seekonk and Taunton for five years where she became acquainted with some of her husband’s lawyer friends.

In 1980 she discovered tennis and said “why have I been practicing piano all these years when I could have been practicing my tennis”. After considerable practice both by her and her husband they managed to win a “husband and wife” event at a local Westport Club.

Jeanne was an elegant, thoughtful person and a devoted mother, classical, pianist, tennis buff and adored her grandson, Nicolas. She was gracious and respectful to everyone who met her, until old age and illness overcame her at home in the loving arms of her family.

She is survived by her husband, Peter, her children: Michele and her husband. Jim Guiang, George, John and Philip and her grandson Nicolas. Her brother Paul predeceased leaving nieces and a nephew.

The family thanks most sincerely the caregivers too numerous to mention who assisted throughout her last illness. In lieu of flowers, any memorial one chooses might be a donation to a church or a charity. Her arrangements are in the care of Waring-Sullivan Home at Cherry Place, Fall River. Due to the coronavirus burial will be private. For online tributes, please visit:


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Jeanne B. Collias

have a memory or condolence to add?

Albert West

October 7, 2020

Jean was an excellent person in every way. How blessed we were to have had her as a friend.

Nancy Edmonds Paull

October 6, 2020

Jeanne was such a lovely, warm woman. I am so sorry to learn of her passing and I extend my condolences to the Collias Family.

Sandra Shepard

October 3, 2020

Peter, I am so sorry you lost the love of your life. Condolences to you and your family.

Bob Peck

October 2, 2020

Peter and family. I am so sorry to read of Jeanne’s passing. What a great partner in life. I admired your glass frames at court and two days latter I received the frames to my amazement. Your friend and P C grad....Bob Peck

Katherine Litos Caramos

October 1, 2020

Jeanne was one very special and talented girl “May her memory be eternal “. Much courage and agape to you all from my brother Anthony and his Natalie and me. God bless you with strength.


October 1, 2020

My deepest sympathies to the Collias family. Wishing you peace and strength during this difficult time.


September 30, 2020

Jeanne and I had a very special bond. We were so happy to become "Meme" and "Grandma" to our grandchild, Nicolas. When he arrived in March of 2000, every day was a celebration! Now, he is 20 years old and years have slipped by too quickly, but we were able to share many memorable moments with him, such as his Eagle Scout achievement ceremony to cite an important example. Although we lived on opposite coasts, we shared visits, phone calls, and many photographs of events.

The Grandparent relationship that we had will be greatly missed. However, I know that this loving "connection" will continue to be there and it always will..........

Robert Bogle

September 30, 2020

So sorry for your loss. A great career on her own, and a great career complementing Peter's.

Bob Bogle

Kathy Givens

September 30, 2020

I knew Jeanne when we worked together at The Diet Center. She was a gracious and lovely woman I have always admired her. She was fun, had a great laugh and a generous heart! My sincere condolences to her spouse and family.

Susan Boulay

September 29, 2020

My family and I have many wonderful memories of Jeanne. She was our neighbor for many years in the Historic Highlands. I fondly remember her gracious welcome to the neighborhood, our tea visits, her interaction with my “Greenpeace children” and introducing me to the Women’s club and the Westport Book Club. She was a women many looked up too as a role model and I missed her when she moved to Westport permanently. Our family was so fortunate to have had her in our lives.

Our condolences to the entire Collias family.

Susan, Russ , Jillian & Jared Boulay


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