John Collins, of Dowagiac

Published 12:55 pm Tuesday, February 23, 2016

June 9, 1940 — Feb. 21, 2016

John Collins

John Collins

John “Lonnie” G. Collins, 75, of Dowagiac died Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016, surrounded by his loving family at Borgess Lee Memorial Hospital in Dowagiac.

A Christian Mass of Resurrection will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 25th at Holy Maternity of Mary Catholic Church in Dowagiac with Father Kevin Covert presiding.

Friends may visit with family on Wednesday, Feb. 24, from 6 until 8 p.m. at Clark Chapel & Cremation Services, 405 Center St., Dowagiac, with a Rosary at 7:30 p.m. Memorials may be made to donor’s choice. Those wishing to leave a memory or condolence of Lonnie online may do so at

Lonnie was born June 9, 1940, in Sodus, Michigan to Francis and Verna (Tinkham) Collins. He attended high school in Eau Claire, Michigan and later married the love of his life, Gloria “Glo” DeGraff on April 27, 1963 at Holy Maternity of Mary Catholic Church in Dowagiac. Lonnie was employed by AM General in Mishawaka for over 26 years and retired as a Journeyman Steamfitter and Pipefitter for the local UAW union. He loved the outdoors and was an avid deer hunter, fisherman, and mushroom hunter. He enjoyed trips to the casino as well as spending time in his garden raising vegetables. Lonnie had a deep appreciation for nature. He especially loved taking care of the wildlife around his home. He loved his grandchildren who affectionately referred to him as “Papa.” He would often give his grandkids rides on the lawn tractor and teach them about planting potatoes and other vegetables. Lonnie also loved vacationing with his family and traveling, among his favorite were trips to Tennessee. If he wasn’t outside enjoying life you could find him in front of the stove preparing delicious soup recipes and other favorites, as he loved to cook. Lonnie was a hard worker and often stopped to help others with fix-it jobs. He enjoyed amusement parks and was a big football fan, especially his Fighting Irish Notre Dame football team. Lonnie was a faithful, dedicated husband, father and grandfather. All those who knew Lonnie will remember his great sense of humor and love for others.

Lonnie is survived by his wife Gloria, his five children; Kelly (Norm) McCoy of Mancelona, Michigan, Kevin (Lori) Collins of Dowagiac, Chris (Toni) Collins of Dowagiac, Shannon (Brent) Hatch of Dowagiac and Jill (David) Carpenter of Portage, Michigan. He also leaves behind 14 grandchildren; Joshua McCoy, Sara Crowley, Kelsey McCoy, Matthew Collins, Jeremy Collins, Casey Collins, Megan Collins, Miranda Collins, Zachary Hatch, Grant Hatch, Rachel Hatch, Landon Carpenter, Adrienne Carpenter and Nolan Carpenter as well as six great grandchildren; Collin, Clayton, Brian, Adrian, Aubree and Bentley. Lonnie also leaves behind one brother, Gail (Betty) Collins of Michigan City, Indiana. He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers and two sisters.