Cover photo for Donald Collins's Obituary
Donald Collins Profile Photo

Donald Collins

November 30, 1925 — March 10, 2018

Caribou -- Donald Frederick Collins, World War II veteran, public servant, community leader, and former president of S.W. Collins Co., died March 10 of congestive heart failure and complications of Alzheimer’s disease in Caribou. He was 92. A native of Caribou, Don was born Nov. 30, 1925, the second of four sons of Samuel Wilson and Elizabeth Black Collins. At 18, he left the University of Maine in Orono to enlist in the U.S. Army and was assigned to the 87th Infantry Division in Europe. Wounded twice in the Battle of the Bulge, he was awarded a Combat Infantry Badge, a Purple Heart with an Oak Leaf Cluster and a Bronze Star. Following his military service, Don completed his education at the university, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated in 1949 with a B.A. in business administration. He married Patricia R. McGuigan of Port Jervis, N.Y., his wife of 70 years. Don succeeded his father as president of the family’s lumber and building-materials business, which has been operated continuously by the Collins family since its founding in 1844. For several years, he also managed Collins Construction Company, building houses on his family’s former farm to meet the demand for housing following W. W. II. Retired in 1992, he continued to serve on S.W. Collins Company’s board. Like his father and grandfather, Don was deeply committed to public service. He served as mayor of Caribou, as a state representative to the Maine Legislature, and as a Maine State Senator for four terms. He and his late brother Sam Collins of Rockland were the first brothers in Maine history to serve simultaneously in the Maine Senate. Service in all spheres was a hallmark of Don’s life. He was a director of Maine Community Foundation, Maine Public Broadcasting Corporation and Loring Development Authority, and president of Caribou Hospital District, Maine Retail Lumber Dealers Association and the Caribou Rotary Club. He chaired the Cary Hospital Board and the building committee for the new hospital, the Caribou Chamber of Commerce, the Caribou Development Corporation, and the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. A longtime member of the American Legion Post and the V.F.W., he served on the Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery Committee. Don served many years as a director of the Maine Mutual Insurance Company, now MMG Insurance, the Aroostook Trust Company and Maine National Bank. For his alma mater, he chaired the University of Maine Foundation and was a member of the University of Maine Board of Visitors. He also served as president of the Foundation of the University of Maine at Presque Isle. His leadership and community service earned him many honors including Caribou Chamber of Commerce To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donald Collins, please visit our flower store.


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