VERONA, Wis. – James L. Collins, age 74, passed away peacefully at home in Verona, WI during his classic 1:00pm cat nap on May 5, 2021. He was born on January 23, 1947 in Dodgeville, WI to parents, Leo and Anne (Dougherty) Collins.
Jim grew up in Madison, WI and was a 1965 graduate of Madison West High School where he played baseball. Following high school, he worked for Padgham Painting then served his country proudly in Vietnam (1969-71). He was a member of the Military Police K9 unit, partnered with three dogs he personally trained and was quite proud of: Prince, Willie, and King. Upon returning to the US, he married Ruth Motelet on February 19, 1972. He was employed at the University of Wisconsin paint shop until retirement. He was a devoted father and grandfather to Patrick and Shannon and their children.
He loved watching the Packers and hosted many parties with family, friends, and neighbors. He was a member of Saint Maria Goretti Catholic Church, played softball, golf and took extreme pride in his profession, always putting a high level of attention to every detail. Ever the consummate professional, he always worked hard and never complained. He was a cheese enthusiast, loved to read the newspaper front to back, as well as play Sudoku and Wonderwords. He was infamous for singing Tiny Bubbles.
Jim was an impressive storyteller and the life of the party. He loved to talk, but he was equally a great listener. He could have a conversation with a brick wall! His gift for empathy would put you at ease. Jim always offered words of support and encouragement to his friends, family and even strangers. He recently wrote letters of encouragement to his grandchildren as they returned to school. They will miss him forever and dearly.
He always had time for family, and he made sure you knew he loved and appreciated you. Jim wore his heart on his sleeve. His children, family, and friends never wondered what he thought of them, because he was always actively building them up with his kind words and actions.
Jim was fondly nicknamed “JC”, “Jimmy”, “Jimmers”, and “Papa”. He will be remembered as a positive role model. He always looked for the good in any situation.
James “JC” is survived by his loving wife of 49 years, Ruth; son, Patrick (Luci); daughter, Shannon (Jacob) Hoida; grandchildren, Madeline James, Mara, Macy, Clara, Preston; brother, Jerald (Carol) Collins; sisters-in-law, Joyce and Dawn; in laws, Mike (Rose) Motelet, Bill (Mary) Motelet, Carol (Bob) Clark, Catherine “Gigi” (Gary) Bethke, Margie (Kyle) Barry, Jeff (Daniel) Motelet, James “JT” (Laura) Motelet, Kris (Sam) Buscemi, Teresa (Tom) Beecher, Jill (Mike) Lilly.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Leo and Anne; stepfather, Dick Inman; brother, Larry; in-laws, Jerry and Betty Motelet; beloved sister-in-law Rose; and niece Amy.
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