OBITUARY

James Ronan Collins

December 25, 1945November 26, 2022
Obituary of James Ronan Collins
James (Jim) Collins completed his earthly journey on November 26th, 2022. He is survived by Louise, his wife of 56 years; three children, Edward (Lorelei), Lara (David), and Rebecca; grandchildren, Sinon, Fiona, Blythe, Damien, Caroline, and Henry; sisters, Debby and Diane; and, several nieces, nephews, and cousins. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Henrietta Collins, and his brothers Martin, Thomas, Terry, and Jon. Born on Christmas Day to Henrietta and Edward Collins in Cleveland, Ohio (after Limburger cheese eaten by his mother on Christmas Eve put her into early labor), Jim enjoyed a well-lived life from the beginning. He was raised in East Cleveland along with his four siblings and spent many weeks every year with his grandparents in Western Pennsylvania. As a teenager, Jim met and fell in love with Louise Gunvalsen in East Cleveland and they were married in the summer of 1966. They started their family in the Cleveland area, had a short but memorable stay in Cincinnati, and finally settled down in the Detroit area during the summer of 1977. Although he traveled extensively for work, Jim was an attentive father. He always found time to bandage wounds, read bedtime stories, fix blankies, coach baseball, chaperone field trips and help with school projects. He cherished his kids and as they grew he was their go-to handyman as well as a business and travel partner. Always available for his children during difficult situations, his constant support, presence, and guidance will be missed, but his spirit and sound advice live on. As time went on, Jim became a beloved grandfather. He was always thinking of his grandchildren and how he could help and support them in any way. Often that support came in the form of toys and sugary sweets. Up until the end, the grandchildren were at the forefront of his mind. He tried to make each of his six grandchildren feel special, and he cherished their individual personalities. Determined to give something to each grandchild beyond material things, he gave his time and attention to make each of them feel special. Jim loved to work and started his career at Higbees department store in the Terminal Tower in Cleveland. He started his career as a teenager and worked up to being a buyer in records, housewares and finally toys. The toy industry is where he really shined. Jim’s ability to read people and talk to anyone about anything made him a great salesman. After several years buying toys he became a manufacturer’s representative. His work allowed him to travel to places like Tokyo, Seoul and many cities in Southeast China. New York and Hong Kong were his favorites, but he also loved his road trips throughout the Midwest. Regardless of where he was, Jim always found inspiration for new products. He especially loved product packaging and using family as models. Over his 50-plus year career, Jim made lifelong friends. He genuinely cared for others. Jim was a man of many interests. He was a sucker for any sweet furry creature and famously brought home two puppies when he just couldn’t leave the other one behind. He was a baseball fan that loved to watch his son and grandson play. Jim was a handyman that lived to fix or repair things around his or another family member's home. He loved to start renovation and remodeling projects. He was a mentor and made sure to teach his children how to do things the right way, even if he didn’t always do that himself. He loved tools and creating, and felt instructions were just a waste of paper. As his children grew he became a magnificent cook inspiring others with his cooking skills. He loved to share food with family and friends, replying to compliments by saying “it was nothing”. Jim always went above and beyond for others and was maybe at his best dispensing advice and opinions. If someone needed advice on how to fix things or handle a situation, Jim was their go-to man. Those who stayed close to him over the last few years saw him grow frustrated that his body was not able to keep up with his desires. Despite his constant pain he managed to save every scrap of energy to continue to do what he loved when he could. Jim’s spirit and legacy lives on through his family, friends and the many people he has touched during his time on Earth. When giving business advice he liked to say, “All you have is your name.” James Collins, a great name for an irreplaceable man. A funeral Mass will be held on December 17th, 11 a.m. in state and 11:30 Mass at: St. Fabian Catholic Church, 32200 W. Twelve Mile Road, Farmington Hills, MI 48334, 248-553-4610, info@stfabian.org Following the service please join us as we share memories of Jim and celebrate his life at St. Fabian social hall, starting around 12:30 PM. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the Kurt and Peter Foundation which supports Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy type 2C (R5) a cause that was very close to Jim’s heart. Also please consider the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation or a charity of your choice.

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Past Services

Saturday, December 17, 2022

In state

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Funeral Mass