1209 Post Road | Fairfield, Connecticut | 06824
Visitation at Funeral Home
Obituary of Thomas Patrick Collins
Thomas Patrick Collins Jr., age 93, beloved husband of Jeanne Collins, born and raised in Black Rock, resided in Fairfield and most recently of Cocoa Beach, Fl and Trumbull, passed away peacefully with his wife and family by his side on October 4, 2018 after a short battle with Lymphoma.
Tom was born on October 19, 1924 to the late Tom Collins Sr. and Marjorie Quigley Collins in the Black Rock Garden Apartments on Rowsley Street. Attending Black Rock School and Bassick High School where he was quarterback and captain of the football team, Tom left Bassick in his Senior year in March 1943 to join the U.S. Navy to fight the Japanese in the Pacific until their surrender in August 1945.
Back in the States he married Jeanne Brown in 1947 and attended the UCONN School of Pharmacy from where he graduated in 1954. Joining his father in the original Collins Drug Store on Fairfield Avenue, it quickly became evident that he needed to grow and expand to support his growing family. From 1963 to 1977 he oversaw the changes in Black Rock that reduced the number of Pharmacies from five to one. He was most proud of the fact that the tiny Drug Store his father began in 1931 has grown to fully support six Collins families over five generations.
Tom loved Black Rock and Saint Ann’s Church where his children were Baptized and Married and where he was President of the Parish Council from 1965-1970. He was co-chair of the St. Ann Capital Campaign that built the Parish Center and renovated the Church. He was Past President of the Greater Bridgeport Pharmaceutical Association and the Black Rock Civic and Business Men’s Club and was instrumental in securing the necessary funding for the publication of the Black Rock Bicentennial Picture Book in 1976 which indirectly led to the formation of today’s Black Rock Community Council. He was a proud member of the Ancient Order Of Hibernians, JFK Division, the Catholic War Veterans, Raymond J. Power Post and the American Legion.
Tom loved all things sports (hence his nickname the “Coach”) especially the NY Giants and Mets and the UCONN Husky Men and Women’s Basketball teams. He also loved a good parade and was especially fond of the Black Rock Day and Greater Bridgeport Saint Patrick’s Day Parades. His Irish heritage was extremely important to him and he bestowed that heritage on all of his children. Food, drink and celebrations large and small were his passions including his Brookmere Drive Super Bowl Parties, Saint Patrick’s Day and the many anniversaries and birthdays he got to celebrate with a wife of 71 years, 5 children, 14 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. He had a special affinity for the beach (but not the sun!) and brought his family and friends each Summer to Fairfield Beach and Laurel Beach in Milford. Down in Cocoa Beach Florida, he chaired the Harbor Isles Beach Sweepers, keeping the Atlantic Ocean beaches pristine for residents and visitors alike.
Tom was loved by all, including his family, friends, Pharmacy staff, many of whom were like family to him, and the thousands of Collins Pharmacy customers he proudly served for nearly 40 years. But his true love was his family including his bride of 71 years Jeanne; his sons, Tom Collins,III and his wife Evelyn, of California, Jack Collins and his wife Kay, of Black Rock, Chris Collins and his wife Carol, of Trumbull; his daughter Peggy Crossin, of Black Rock; daughter in law, Elizabeth Collins, of Black Rock. He will also be remembered by his 14 grandchildren, Michael, Tommy IV, Jennifer, Bryan, Matthew and Mary Kate Collins, Eileen Crossin, Katie Crossin Engeldrum and Maura Crossin , Sean and Caroline Collins , Ryan, Nora and Jack Collins and 10 great-grandchildren, Michael, Julianna and Alyssa Collins, Brayden and Tyler Imbrogno, Mae and Max Collins, Greyson Moore and Patrick and Emma Engeldrum. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his son, Kevin Collins and son in law, Patrick Crossin.
Calling hours will be held on Sunday from 3-7 PM in the Lesko & Polke Funeral Home 1209 Post Road, in Fairfield Center. His Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday at 11 AM in Saint Ann Church, with Reverend Charles Allen, SJ officiating. His interment will be private.
The Collins family would like to express their sincere gratitude to all the staff at Middlebrook Farms who cared for him so dearly, the Nurses and Aides at VNS of Connecticut Hospice at Home and the Home Health Aides at Turtledove Homecare. The care provided by all of these wonderful people will never be forgotten.
The Collins family would prefer memorial contributions to either: Saint Ann Church 481 Brewster Street, Bridgeport, CT 06605 or Wakeman Boys & Girls Club Smilow-Burroughs Clubhouse 2414 Fairfield Ave, Bridgeport, CT 06605. For travel directions, or to sign his guest register, please visit www.LeskoPolkeFuneralHome.com.