Beams Funeral Home


John "Mike" Collins

April 5, 1943November 5, 2020

John M. (Mike) Collins, 77, Retired Colonel and Chaplain for the USAF, passed away on November 5th, 2020, following a brief illness. Born in Gary, Indiana, to Frank and Nancy Collins (nee Alexander), Mike is survived by his wife, Theresa (Dolly) Collins, step-children Erin Martel, Dana Theokas, Mayako Tripp, and Ian Tripp, and his Collins’ cousins. A graduate of St. John’s College & Theologate in Camarillo, California. Mike began his professional career as a Catholic Chaplain serving parishes in the Los Angeles Diocese, while also a member of the California Army Guard. In 1977 and for the next twenty-one years, he would represent his faith, his country, and the United States Air Force across the globe.

Within the United States, Mike’s first assignment was as the Base Chaplain at Luke AFB, AZ. He would go on to serve as the Senior Catholic or Wing Chaplain at Shemya AFB, AK; Norton AFB, CA; Maxwell AFB, AL (student, Air Command and Staff College); Tinker AFB, OK; Offutt AFB, NE; Langley AFB, VA; culminating with his retirement in 1998 from Wright Patterson AFB, OH. Overseas, he held similar responsible positions in England, Panama, Italy and Saudi Arabia, where he was deployed during Desert Storm. His last overseas posting was to Aviano, Italy; best friend alike to man and beast, his annual “Blessing of the Pets” was well attended by both.

Mike’s many military awards and decorations include the Kuwait Liberation Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with six devices, the Bronze Star and the Legion of Merit.

Upon retirement, he returned to his family summer home on Coldwater Lake, Michigan, where he spent countless hours fishing from his dock and cheering on the Big Blue. He enjoyed cooking his catch, and whatever grew in their garden. Even in retirement Mike would not stay still--he and Dolly crossed the country visiting friends and family in their fifth-wheel RV, his BMW motorcycle in tow, never without by one or more rescue dogs which they would be fostering. He helped hundreds of “mans’ best friend” find their forever homes.

Mike was most comfortable when helping, supporting and serving others. He continued to serve his community as a Lifetime member of the VFW and American Legion Post 257 in Fremont, Indiana. While still able, he rode with the Legion Riders of Post 257 and provided funeral services for veterans without a pastor at Beams Funeral Home. As his zest for travel dwindled Mike continued to act as a transport for Midwest Boston Terrier Rescue.

Mike Collins was a wonderful human being, a happy soul, loved and now missed by all. Arrangements for a memorial service, under the direction of Beams Funeral Home in Fremont, IN, will be forthcoming.

Memorial donations in his memory may be directed to the Fremont American Legion Cassell Post # 257, P.O. Box 610, Fremont, Indiana 46737 or to the Midwest Boston Terrier Rescue, P.O. Box 297, Kent City, MI 49330.


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


John "Mike" Collins

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Cory Estes

November 9, 2020

Mike Colins and I served together at Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio. He was my last supervisor in the AF before I retired. Great guy and a fine Chaplain. Condolences to you Dolly. Cory & Judy Estes, Bucyrus, OH


November 9, 2020

Bill and I are sorry for your loss of Michael. We have so many memories of our times together at the lake. We will cherish them forever. Dolly, you and your family are in our prayers.


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