Ethel "Gussie" A. Collins
July 21, 1926 – February 14, 2020
Mrs. Ethel A. (Clayton) Collins, 93, a long-time resident of Lynn, passed away on Friday, February 14, 2020. She was the beloved wife of the late William J. Collins.
Born on July 21, 1926 in Sumter, South Carolina, she was the cherished daughter to the late James R. Sr., and Sarah (Flud) Clayton. Gussie, as she was affectionately known, was a graduate of Edmunds High School in Sumter, SC, and later continued her education at Burdett College in Lynn. She married the love of her life, William J. Collins, on April 30, 1945. The couple spent over 70 years in marriage together raising and caring for their family.
Gussie held a number of administrative positions in banking and business. She worked at the GTE Sylvania Corporation as an Executive Secretary until she retired in 1988. In addition to her professional life, Gussie was a devoted volunteer at Union Hospital, a past Prefect of the Sodality of Our Lady of the Assumption parish in Lynnfield and a member of the Massachusetts Catholic Women’s Guild. She was also an active member of the GTE Sylvania Retirement Group. She had a love for cooking, gardening, golf, and traveling to Florida and Hilton Head, SC. Her greatest passion of all was painting, which she perfected over the past 40 years.
Gussie is survived by her loving children Steven J. Collins and his wife, Jodee (Fenton) of Seattle, WA, William T. Collins and his wife, Kathleen (Curtis) of Lynn, and Marsha Collins and her husband, Paul Borgman of Gloucester; her cherished brother Lester Flud Clayton of Florida; 6 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents and husband, Gussie is predeceased by her brother J. R. Clayton, Jr.
The family would like to express their sincere thanks to the professional and caring staff of Life Care of the North Shore where Gussie spent the last 5 years and to Pauline Morgan and Charlene Smith who cared for her at home for many years. These caregivers truly became extended family to whom the Collins family will always be grateful.
Visiting hours will be held on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Cuffe-McGinn Funeral Home, 157 Maple Street, Lynn. Her Funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, 17 Grove St. Lynnfield, MA at 10:00 AM. Interment will follow in St. Mary Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made in Gussie’s name to the American Cancer Society, 30 Speen Street, Framingham, MA 01701.
- Visiting Hours Tuesday, February 18, 2020
- Funeral Mass Wednesday, February 19, 2020
- Interment Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Ethel "Gussie" A. Collins
February 17, 2020
Marsha's (and Stevie's and Billy's) mother, and the love of her husband's life, was a charming and kind hostess to me when I was young. I spent many happy days (and occasional overnights) at her Range Heights Road house when I was growing up. I always felt welcome. She never protested no matter how many times Marsha and I played Peter, Paul, and Mary's "Lemon Tree" on the hifi in her living room.
"Gussie" was a great beauty, very chic, and she knew how to decorate. There was a period when her house seemed to be repapered and rearranged weekly--an exaggeration in my memory for sure--and each time more beautifully than the last.
She was a great painter as well: I kept the portrait she gave me of what I took to be Harry Belafonte for years after going to Boston with Marsha to see him perform when we were in our teens.
I loved and admired her! Janet Nolan