106 West Main Street
P.O. Box 146
Phone: 906-475-4631
Fax: 906-475-5561


Monday, May 15th, 1933 - Thursday, March 5th, 2020
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Ronald Jethro Collins, 86, passed away at home (just as he wished) on Thursday evening March 5, 2020.

“Ron” or “Jethro” as he was known by friends, was born to Hilda (Williams) Beard-Collins and Jethro Collins on May 15, 1933 at 116 Cleveland Street on Negaunee’s west side. Ron’s education began at the Jackson School on Snow Street. Mitchell United Methodist Church provided early spiritual guidance and introduction to children’s choir where his mother was Superintendent of the Sunday School. Later, he enjoyed extracurricular activities like band, football and class plays. He graduated from Negaunee High School in 1951 and joined the U.S. Navy during the Korean Conflict, serving aboard the U.S.S. aircraft carrier Siboney until 1955.

After serving his country, Ron trained and worked as a Michigan State Trooper in Sandusky, MI, where he met and married his first wife and mother of his children; Claudean (Schell) in 1957. The newlyweds returned to Negaunee to continue his education at Northern Michigan Teacher’s College while working midnights at the Tracy Mine, obtaining his Teaching Degree in 1961. He taught science and coached basketball at Michigamme High School from 1962-64, and at Goodman, WI from 1964-66. Ron then returned to Negaunee, ran a gas station called Ron’s Standard Service, served on the Negaunee City Police & Fire Department and worked for the Marquette County Health Department in the early 1970’s as an Alcohol Highway Safety counselor. Ron’s eclectic work history finally led him to CCI and the Michigan Army National Guard, retiring from both careers with pensions in 1995.

Ron was a member of VA Romo Post #3165, Negaunee VFW, a past member of the Negaunee Male Chorus, Greenwood American Legion, Negaunee Eagles, the former St. Paul’s Ecumenical Concert Choir, Cornish Cousins, and Negaunee City Band. One thing that few people know or remember about Ron is that while Commander of Negaunee VFW in the late 1970’s, he was instrumental in establishing a veteran’s facility in the Upper Peninsula at the former Marquette General South, now known as the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans.

While still healthy and socially active, Ron enjoyed pinochle, cribbage, brook trout fishing, telling stories, playing pool, a good pasty, singing, Negaunee Old Timers Softball, horseback riding, helping others, watching Green Bay Packers and Detroit Tigers games, having hats and jackets embroidered by Marquette Embroidery for his special groups and activities, spending time at N.M.U.’s PEIF, playing numerous musical instruments, Negaunee Senior Center and Class of ’51 socials, handyman projects, cooking, and teasing people; especially secretaries, barmaids, retail clerks, insurance agents, type-setters, bank tellers and waitresses. Ron was the “King of Boloney Sausage” and would not miss an opportunity to pull someone’s leg. Overall, Ron enjoyed life, people, spending time with those he loved, and being generous to those in need with his resources.

Ron will be extremely missed by his five children: Beth Collins of Green Bay, Julie Collins (Tom Royea, Sr.) of Greenwood, Ron Collins, Jr. of Janesville, WI, Jill Howard (Dean Maki) of Negaunee, and Scott Collins of Negaunee; five grandchildren: Bryan Kuliu, Kayla (Brandon) Bollech, Lisa Lafreniere, Trevor Howard, and Sarah (Paul) Hudlow; four nephews: Thomas Mikko, Robert (Marge) Mikko, Richard (Linda) Mikko, and Thomas Beard, Jr.; three surrogate sons: James, Max (Debbie) and Mark Graves; and surrogate grandson, Shane Graves.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Thomas (Lucy) Beard, Sr.; a sister, Ruth (Victor) Mikko; a nephew, Ronald Mikko; granddaughter, Carly Lehto; niece, Kathy Ponopnicki; his first wife, Claudean; and his longtime companion and love of his life, Rolande Graves.

A Celebration of Life will held from 2:00 pm until 6:00 pm on Friday, July 3rd at the Negaunee VFW. Interment will be in the Negaunee Cemetery

Ron’s memorial page may be viewed at koskeyfuneralhome.com
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Julie Cygan

Posted at 11:30am
Scott, I am so sorry to hear of your dad's passing. He was one of my favorite customers. I always looked forward to his visit. We shared stories and I enjoyed his company. He sure had a soft heart. May he rest in peace. He will be missed. Prayers to your family and may all of his wonderful memories with your family live one. ~ Julie Cygan

Scott Collins Posted at 10:08am

Thank you Julie, he liked you too. He was my hero.

Denise Johnson

Posted at 09:09am
Scott, So sorry to hear of your Fathers passing. Prayers for you and your family at this difficult time.
Denise Johnson

Scott Collins Posted at 10:11am

Relieved for him that he does not have to suffer anymore. He was a good dad and am proud of him, always.

Linda Rose

Posted at 02:28pm
Dan and I would like to extend our sincere condolences on your loss. Ron was always ready with a story to tell with a twinkle in his eye. Our hearts go out to you all with our deepest sympathies.
Linda and Dan Rose

scott collins Posted at 09:00am

Thank you so much, I'm glad you understood his sense of humor. Very kind of you to remember him. Thank you and God Bless.

Gerald T Anderson

Posted at 11:21pm
Scott and family. I loved getting to know your Dad throughout our years singing together in the Negaunee Male Chorus. We also had a lot of fun together singing in our Barber Shop group. Ron always went all out with stage decor and costumes for our Barber Shop performances. I still have a red corduroy sports cap from him embroidered with our Barber Shop Group name,
(of which he named) , "The Close Shaves" :) I will surely miss Ron and his sense of humor. Condolences to the entire family.
Jerry Anderson

scott collins Posted at 09:03am

Thanks Jerry, he did love the close shaves, we were pretty good too. Thanks for remembering him, I will miss him.

Bruce Houghton

Posted at 11:31am
Ron was a stalwart trombonist for the Negaunee City Band for many years marching alongside Charlie Smith,
Syd Northey, Gerry Anderson, Lee Wetton, Gordon Erickson and many others. He was a great guy, absolutely dependable, and always entertaining at band, fishing, or horsing around. He was a devoted and attentive father to his motley crew of children and grandchildren and sympathy and condolences are extended to them all. He will be missed.

scott collins Posted at 09:08am

Thanks Bruce, he was 100% devoted to whatever activity he chose to be involved in. We were and still are a motley crew of kids! Motley= Diverse. Thanks Bruce.

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