Tuesday, September 4, 2012


At the Masonic Lodge in Middleville, Michigan, there is a "Charles E. Collins, Sr." dining room named in honor of my father, a life-long Mason and a tireless supporter of his Lodge.  He spent many, many nights of his life attending meetings and fund-raising for his favorite organization.

The last handful of years, his lodge fund-raising took the form of selling poker chips at Texas Hold 'em charity tournaments.  This is a Michigan thing and I don't know the ins and outs of it, but I do know that Dad worked until the wee hours of the morning, lately seven days on, seven days off.

When a stroke claimed the lion's share of his vision, he convinced his wife to go with him.  One of the proudest days of his recent years was when his grandson Max became a Mason.  Max, too, would occasionally accompany Dad to work the game room.

This week Dad and his wife Carol had planned a trip to South Carolina to visit my baby brother and me. But "Man makes plans, God changes them" and this time, God called my father home.  After his normal night-shift at the poker room, Dad got to bed about 3:30 am.  During the night, he suffered another stroke and on Labor Day, he slipped peacefully into the next world. 

Dad was a man of action and I am grateful that on the last Saturday night of his life, he was joking around with the guys at the Masonic Texas Hold 'em game.  It was just where he wanted to be.

Way to go Dad, you went out with your boots on. 

I Love You.

Charles Elmer Collins, Sr.
1929 - 2012


Eva said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Shirley C. said...

This was a man who made every situation pleasant, when the rest of the world may have thought otherwise. He had a laugh and a smile that was always on his face and the attitude that you can't take things too serious. Quite a guy he was.

Anonymous said...

Your father was a great guy and I know the deep down place where you carry him; your mother, too. It seems when something like this happens the whole world should be stopping, but people about us continue their busy lives as though everything is normal.

I hope your father and mother and my father and mother are telling each other jokes right now and talking about their wonderful lives. There will be a new star with a sparkle when I look at the sky tonight.

Sending you love - Jennifer

lee said...

Very sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. thinking of you and your family.

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear of your loss. Our thoughts are with you!