- June 8, 1936 - December 23, 2016
- Jupiter, Florida
of Cecil's Passing
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Memories & CandlesPrevious
“I will never forgot flying into Orlando for a vacation in the Keys with Cindy Reeves, to discover the hurricane had destroyed so many local cars that...Read More »
1 of 18 | Posted by: Kathy Provost Woloszyk - AZ
“Cecil, we loved you deeply. Your home was never without your warm and smiling face. We are so glad that we got to meet your wonderful wife and...Read More »
2 of 18 | Posted by: Wil, Mary Rose & Jimmy Fleurant - FL
“I have been blessed to be able to call Mr. Collins oldest child, Karen Porter, a dear friend and colleague for more than 20 years. Karen is a...Read More »
3 of 18 | Posted by: Debi Cain - West Bloomfield, MI
“To Joan and the Collins Family.......we had the pleasure of meeting Cecil in Rhode Island. We found him to be so interesting, so personable, such a...Read More »
4 of 18 | Posted by: Cam Malone-Allen - Rotonda West, FL
“So very sorry to Cecil's family and Joan. Cecil was a lovely man and super neighbor. His kind spirit will be missed in our cul-de-sac. May god...Read More »
5 of 18 | Posted by: Jennifer and Ryan LaVoie - FL
“Based on our relationship with daughter Kerrilyn, we can only imagine the man that Mr. Collins was. Sending our deepest sympathy and wishing you love...Read More »
6 of 18 | Posted by: Nicole Milligan - Port St. Lucie, FL
“Sending my deepest sympathies and prayers to my Collins cousins and their families. I always remember seeing Uncle Cecil with a big warm smile. My...Read More »
7 of 18 | Posted by: Toni Merucci Montreuil - Maricopa, AZ
“Cecil was my boss at General Safety when I started my career in design back in 1987. He was kind and patient, a bit demanding, and just plain...Read More »
8 of 18 | Posted by: Tammy Korona - Clinton Township, MI
“Heart felt condolences to the Collins family. I work for Cecil for many years at Fisher Corporation. I have great memories of working on special...Read More »
9 of 18 | Posted by: Ben Stroich - Troy, MI - Coworker
“ Only met Cecile a couple of times through Joan but thoroughly enjoyedbeing in the company of such a delightful person. I pray all of the...Read More »
10 of 18 | Posted by: Lucille Stewart - Mansfield, MA
“So sorry Joan. He was a special man.my sympathy to his family also
11 of 18 | Posted by: Dolores Bergeron - Warwick, RI
“I met Cecil in recent months at St. Peter Church with Joan Miga. She always spoke so highly of her friendship with Cecil, and by his warm smile at...Read More »
12 of 18 | Posted by: Laura Gurdak - Jupiter, FL
“To the entire Collin's family and all that loved Uncle Cecil our sincere condolences. Uncle Cecil was one of my favorite Uncles. He was a very...Read More »
13 of 18 | Posted by: Mary Jo Provost/Elieff - FL
“Prayers to you and your family!
14 of 18 | Posted by: Linda Araujo
“It was my honor meeting Cecil through Joan Miga. He was immediately a friend as your nephew stated. My condolences to Joan and the Collins family, he...Read More »
15 of 18 | Posted by: Doug Kniffin - Jupiter, FL
“A very special man that will be remembered fondly by many people.
16 of 18 | Posted by: Cynthia Reeves - Lehigh Acres, FL
“Cecil Collins will be remembered as a good and loving man. He made the world a better place.
17 of 18 | Posted by: Carl and Kathy Woloszyk - MI
“Dear Connie and all your wonderful family, I am so very sorry to hear of your dad's passing, he was such a warm and loving man, always smiling! My...Read More »
18 of 18 | Posted by: Patty Loschiavo - Oxford, CT
Cecil Allen Collins, cherished by his family and countless friends, is remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, father-in-law, uncle, and devoted friend. He passed away on Friday, December 23, 2016 at the age of 80.
Cecil was born to parents Blanche and Ray Collins on June 8, 1936 in Detroit, Michigan. He grew up the youngest of four siblings and married Mary Louise Grzena in 1953, sister of his close friend, Jack.
Cecil "fibbed" about his age when he hired into Fisher Corporation at age of 17 because with a wife and the first of 10 children to support, the word "lie" just doesn't seem to fit. Cecil started in the pressroom, doing whatever job he was assigned, eventually becoming the Director of Research and Development, working for the company for 51 years. For many years, after finishing the first shift at Fisher Corporation, he worked the second shift at various gas stations in the area.
In 1957 Cecil moved his ever growing family from Detroit to Waterford, Michigan.
In 1964 Cecil got the idea of a push button seat belt buckle. He built a prototype that he took home, placing it on the refrigerator until he was able to work out some crude sketches which he took to the president of Fisher Corporation, Robert Fisher. Robert immediately saw the merit of Cecil's idea and applied for a worldwide patent with him. The issued patent was the start of an innovative business for the Fisher family, Fisher Corporation, and General Safety Corporation.
In 1969, Cecil decided to enlarge the 900 square foot house the family of 12 lived in by building a family room, two more bedrooms, and a 40 foot carport/garage. Money was still tight and he decided to do all of the work himself. He spent a lot of time at the library learning the basics of home building and then began a two-year long project, digging footings by hand, mixing and pouring concrete, and pounding nails. He approached this project as he did all projects, never allowing himself to be overwhelmed by its size but dissecting it into small, manageable pieces. This approach served Cecil well over the years because even though he left school in eighth grade he absorbed knowledge like a sponge and with his intuitive mechanical ability, he had 25 U.S. patents issued in his name. He continued to love tinkering and creatively solved problems until his death, e.g., taking apart an umbrella and using the opening/closing mechanism as a tool to pull up his socks.
In the early 1980's, Cecil moved with Mary and his youngest five children to Jupiter, Florida to become the Vice-President of Rybovich Boat Works, owned by Robert Fisher. After 10 years Robert sold the boatyard. Cecil returned to Michigan to become Director of Research and Development at General Safety Corporation where he remained until his retirement in 2004, At that time he moved back to Jupiter, Florida.
Once, a dear nephew, wisely observed that Cecil could enter a room of strangers, walk out with multiple lifelong friends, and be admired and respected by the remainder of those present.
In 2012, Cecil's loving wife of 58 years, Mary Lou passed away. Cecil grew close to Joan Miga who became his dear and constant companion, an unexpected but welcome blessing at this time in their lives.
Cecil is survived by his children, Allen (Kara) Collins, Kerrilyn O'Connor, Kelly (Gary) Brown, Daniel (Kimberly) Collins, Connie (William) Oblaczynski, Chris Pittman, Colleen (Thomas) FitzGerald, Michael (Melody Hackett) Collins, Carol (Linda Unwin) Collins, and Karen (Frederick) Porter; 34 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.
In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in memory of Cecil Collins and his special love for children. A Funeral Mass will be held 10:00 am Friday, December 30, 2016 at St. Peter Catholic Church, 1701 Indian Creek Parkway, Jupiter, FL. Committal service will follow in Riverside Memorial Park, Tequesta, FL.