Cover photo for Patricia M. Collins's Obituary
Patricia M. Collins Profile Photo

Patricia M. Collins

April 14, 1927 — March 4, 2024

Caribou-Patricia M. Collins, who held leadership positions in her community, her state, and her church for more than a half-century, died on March 5 at the age of 96. 
Born in Colombia, South America, Pat came to the United States with her parents, Joseph and Helen {Foskett) McGuigan, as a young child. She was raised in Port Jervis, NY, and moved to Maine to attend the University of Maine. She married Donald F. Collins in 1948 and spent the rest of her life with Don in Caribou until his death in 2018. They were married for 70 years.
Pat's ability to multi-task was legendary and was marked by several "firsts."
She was the first woman to be elected Mayor of Caribou, and the first female chair of the Board of Trustees of the University of Maine system.
Among many other volunteer positions in public service, Pat was chair of the Caribou School Board, chair of the Maine Committee for Judicial Responsibility and Disability, a member of the Board of Visitors at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, a member of the advisory committee of the Maine Public Broadcasting Network, a court-appointed special advocate for children, chair of the Catholic Charities Maine Board of Directors and the Catholic Foundation of Maine Board of Trustees, and one of two New England representatives to the National Advisory Council of the Conference of Catholic Bishops. For nine years, she was employed as the Director of Religious Education at Holy Rosary Church in Caribou.
Pat did all of this while holding another full-time job -- raising six children.
She also found time to write two cookbooks, become an accomplished artist and photographer, develop extraordinary skills in needlepoint, and read voraciously. A measure of her artistic ability was the project she undertook to paint water­color portraits of several of her husband's colleagues in the Maine State Senate.
Pat held B.A. degrees in both mathematics (University of Maine at Orono) and art (University of Maine at Presque Isle). She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa as an undergraduate.
Among the honors and awards she received were an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from UMPI, the Deborah Morton Award from Westbrook College, the Black Bear Award (with her husband, Don) from the University of Maine General Alumni Association, the Diocesan Miraculous Conception Medal, and the Fogler Legacy Award from the University of Maine (awarded to the Don and Pat Collins Family). She was elected to the Maine Women's Hall of Fame in 2005.
Surviving are her six children: Kathleen Wiesendanger of South Portland; Michael, and his wife, Debbie, of Saco; Susan, and her husband, Thomas Daffron, of Bangor; Nancy, and her husband, Richard Sperry, of Haverford, PA; Samuel, and his wife, Lise, of Caribou; Gregg, and his wife, Lori, also of Caribou; 11 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. Kathleen’s husband, John Wiesendanger, died earlier this year.  
The family is thankful for the passionate and loving care their mother received from the many nurses, doctors, administrators and staff at the Maine Veterans’ Home and the Cary Medical Center.
Visiting hours will be at the Mockler Funeral Home, 24 Reservoir Street, Caribou, on Friday, March 22, 2024 from 2 pm to 4 pm and from 6 pm to 8 pm.   Mass will be celebrated Saturday, March 23rd, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. at the Parish of the Precious Blood, Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 31 Thomas Avenue, Caribou.  There will be time for continued fellowship and refreshments at the Northern Maine Brewing Co. following the service. Interment will be in the spring at the Evergreen Cemetery.
For those who wish to honor her memory, donations may be made to The Patricia Collins Art Scholarship at UMPI, 181 Main Street, Presque Isle, Maine 04769, www.umpi.edu. or the Catholic Charities of Maine, P.O. Box 10660, Portland, Maine 04104. www.ccmaine.org. 
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Patricia M. Collins, please visit our flower store.

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Friday, March 22, 2024

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Friday, March 22, 2024

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Saturday, March 23, 2024

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Holy Rosary Catholic Church

34 Vaughn Street
Caribou, ME 04736

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