Passed peacefully away in the presence of his loving family at St. Patrick’s Mercy Home on November 21, 2018. Predeceased by his parents Bernard and Kathleen Collins; Brother John Collins, and Father-in-law Allan Healey. Leaving to mourn with loving memories his devoted wife of 42 years, Christine Collins; his sons Jonathan (Ashley) Collins, and Michael (Robin) Collins; his grandchildren Grace Collins, Benjamin Collins, and Lucy Collins; Brothers Bernard/Tanny (Liz) Collins, Brian (Janet) Collins, Andrew (Shirley) Collins; Mother-in-law Clara Healey; Brothers-in-law Tony (Alma) Healey, and Terry (Jane) Healey; Sister-in-law Carolann (Sean) Fleming. Also numerous nieces and nephews, and a large circle of friends and family.
As the first boy to grow up on the first house on First Avenue, Bill was a charmer from his earliest days. The big brother of four boys, he breezed through school at St. Bon’s and one (inaugural) year at Brother Rice, and many years of weeks-long scout camps. University on the mainland was the scene of more rigorous studies, but also development of his work-hard play-hard approach to life.
A St. Francis Xavier and Dalhousie Law grad, Bill stood first in front of a judge in 1972; many greatly admired him. A Supreme Court Justice described him as the best ever seen in front of a jury. A person’s dignity was always at the heart of his professional life; he was an early volunteer leader in the community, led Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Association and later as the Commissioner with the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Bill fought hard, while fair, to right wrongs. His clients ranged from those wrongly convicted of murder, to those making creative use of a stolen backhoe. His efforts as a lawyer and advisor helped bring equality and equity to the Inuit of Labrador.
The biggest part of his generous heart was saved for family. He was lucky in love. Marriage brought organization and direction while maintaining and building a circle of friends that enjoy life. His two sons became a new focus of his attention and caring. Coaching youth sport teams became a skill added to his repertoire. Yet another was cooking. An invitation to a dinner party at First Avenue or the cabin in Marysvale was a choice event. Later years brought grandchildren to his life, with whom laughter was a two-way street.
The last six months of Bill’s life was one of constant care at the Health Sciences Centre and St. Patrick’s Mercy Home. The Collins Family wishes to thank the nurses, doctors, and all the other staff that brought compassionate attention to Bill every day.
Cremation has taken place. Resting at Carnell’s Funeral Home, 329 Freshwater Road from 7 – 9 pm on Saturday, November 24, 2018 and from 2 – 4 and 7 – 9 pm on Sunday, November 25, 2018. Funeral service will be held on Monday, November 26, 2018 at 9:30 am from St. Pius X, with inurnment at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in Bill’s memory may be to the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada.
Carnell’s Funeral Home
329 Freshwater Road
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St. Pius X
Inurnment at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery