Ethel M. Collins, 96, of Butler, passed away peacefully on March 10, 2022, at the Good Samaritan Hospice in Cabot. On May 22, 1925, she was born in Herman and was the daughter of the late Clarence A. and Marie T. (Heasley) Smith. Ethel met her late husband, Ralph V. Collins while attending St Mary of the Assumption Church and Elementary School in Herman. On February 7, 1942, they were married before her “Ralphie” was drafted into the U.S. Army to serve in World War II. They celebrated their 50th Anniversary with family and friends in 1992 and were married 61 years before Ralph passed away on June 2, 2003.
Ethel and Ralph were local Real Estate Brokers and in the early 70’s they established the real estate office of Ralph V. Collins Realtors in Butler until their retirement. They were active members of All Saints Parish, St. Paul Roman Catholic Church in Butler and were members of the Second Half Club and the Esquire Club. They loved to travel to California, Florida and Washington, and made several trips to Europe with family members and friends. They hosted their Collins Family Circle, where Ralph’s seven brothers and their wives would meet monthly to play card games and just enjoy one another’s company. Ethel and Ralph had a beautifully warm and adoring relationship and would often be seen holding hands while walking together or dancing to the Glenn Miller Band in their living room.
Ethel loved her Lord and Savior and her Country. Her greatest joy was being surrounded by her loving family and friends, especially for a good card game of Euchre or 500 with her sisters, Dee Stuart and Rita Kirk and their husbands, or a competitive game of Dominoes with her kids, grandkids, and great grandkids. Often these games were accompanied by a luncheon or dinner where Ethel made her famous homemade Elderberry or Apple Pies with vanilla ice cream. Her late son-in-law, Rich Saul, often said she should consider opening an Essie’s Pie Shoppe on Main Street.
Ethel was loved and cared for by her devoted son, James Collins of Seattle, WA, and her six precious daughters, Eileen Saul of Newport Beach, CA; Sandra L. Collins Young of Dallas, TX; Donna Collins of Butler; Beth (Jay) Biagi of Seattle, WA.; Mary Ann Collins of West Hollywood, CA; and Laurie (John) Schirra of Butler and will be greatly missed by her 19 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. Ethel is also survived by sisters Dee (Bob) Stuart and Rita (Jim) Kirk, and a large extended family.
In addition to her parents, Ethel was preceded in death by her husband, Ralph V. Collins; sons, Ronald Collins and Leslie Collins; grandson, Russell Collins; sister, Violet McCall; and brothers, Dale Smith and Earl Smith.
The family gives special thanks to all those who were so kind in their care for our mother, especially Kim Ferguson and more recently, the staff at Good Samaritan Hospice.
Friends will be received at the Geibel Funeral Home, 201 East Cunningham Street, Butler, from 2-4 and 6-8 pm on Friday. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, at 10:00 am, at St. Paul Roman Catholic Church, 128 North McKean Street, Butler. Entombment will follow in the Mausoleum of Calvary Cemetery, Butler.