John Thomas Collins passed away at his home in San Rafael, California in the presence of his beloved family on Tuesday May 7th at the age of 68.
John was born in Worcester, Massachusetts on July 14th, 1950, to Frances and Eugene Collins. The second of their six children, John grew up in Gardner, Massachusetts, and later Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. He graduated from Shrewsbury High School in 1968.
John is survived by his loving wife, Lydia, to whom he was married for 34 years. They have five children – Peter, Daniel, Teresa, Anthony, and Catherine. John is also survived by his mother, Frances, his sisters Patricia(Wheeler) and Kathleen (Traynor), and his brothers Joseph and James. John is preceded in death by his father Eugene,and his older brother Michael.
John has called San Rafael home for the last twenty-sevenyears. Prior to that, he lived in San Francisco, where he met his beloved wife, Lydia. John and Lydia raised their five children in San Rafael.
After graduating from the University of Notre Dame in1973, John made his way to California from the East coast. It was during his time in San Francisco that John found his calling as an educator and eventually an administrator in the Catholic school system. John would continue his studies at the University of San Francisco, where he received his Doctorate in Education in the Institute for Catholic Educational Leadership.
John’s Catholic faith played a large role in his life. He valued Catholic education so much so that he dedicated his life to Catholic schools. Before serving as the Superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Santa Rosa for seventeen years, John served as Principal of St. Mary’s High School in Berkley and taught in the University of San Francisco School of Education. He also worked as an educator at St. Paul High School, Presentation High School, and Star of the Sea High School in San Francisco.
After retiring as Superintendent in 2016, John spent much of his time volunteering at Saint Raphael’s school in San Rafael. He was also an active member of Saint Mary’s Star of the Sea Parish in Sausalito, where he helped with the catechetical program and was a member of their men’s group. In 2018, John joined the Saint Pio Foundation as anemissary of the venerated Saint’s relics. John adopted Padre Pio’s mantra, “Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry!” He lived by this mantra during the last month of his life.
John was a dedicated family man who loved his wife and children very much. He enjoyed Sunday night family dinners, road trips, fishing, being a published author, and spending time with those he loved, including the family dogs. He firmly believed in a loving God and the promise of eternal life. May he rest in peace.
Visitation will be held on Monday, May 13, 2019 beginning at 6PM with rosary at 7PM at Saint Raphael Catholic Church in San Rafael. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 1PM on Tuesday, May 14th at Saint Raphael’s.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Saint Raphael School in San Rafael, California.