DUDLEY – Retired Captain William J. Collins (USA), 92, of Dudley, died Sunday, September 9, 2012 at his home with his family at his side. His wife of 68 years, Sadie C. (Paholski) Collins, died October 24, 2011.
He leaves 3 daughters, Nancy J. Roy of Dudley, Carol A. Collins of Niwot, CO and Kathleen D. and her husband Mark C. Puliafico of Woodstock, CT; 7 grandchildren, Kimberly Roy Fryer and her husband Jeffrey, Scott W. Roy. Jeffrey J. Roy and his wife Sandy, Angela Puliafico Biondi and her husband Scott, Maura Puliafico Drake and her husband David, Lindsay Puliafico Frazier and her husband Casey, and Alicia Puliafico; 8 great grandchildren, Ryan and Christopher Fryer, Kyle and Kaitlin Roy, Nathaniel and Luciana Drake, Kellan Frazier and Colin Biondi; a brother, Edward M. Collins, Jr. of Webster; 3 sisters, Teresa Dumouchel and Joan “Betty” Dumouchel, both of Dudley, and Stasia “Barbara “ Menard of North Grosvenordale, CT; 2 godchildren, Linda Lambert and Lorna Ryzewski; nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his brother Francis A. Collins, by his sister Rita C. Collins, by his son-in-law Roger J. Roy and by a godchild Claire Duffy.
He was born in Webster and raised in Dudley, a son of Edward M. Collins, Sr. and Stasia C. (Moronczyk) Collins. He graduated from St. Louis High School in Webster in 1938, where he played varsity basketball and baseball and was a member of the debating team.
He was an Army veteran of World War II, serving as a captain. He graduated from Officers Candidate School, was an infantry commander and fought at Utah Beach, Normandy, France. He was awarded the Purple Heart Medal, the Bronze Star Medal, the American Theater Ribbon, the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon, the American Defense Ribbon, the WW II Victory Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge. He was wounded in France on July 11, 1944.
Mr. Collins was a stationary engineer at Cranston Print Works Company in Webster, at Draper Corp. in Hopedale, at the American Optical Company in Southbridge and at UMass Medical Center in Worcester, retiring in 1982.
He was a member of Saint Louis Church in Webster, the Webster-Dudley American Legion Post #184, the Disabled American Veterans, the Worcester County Retired Officers Association, and had been a member of the former Dudley Veterans. He served on the Dudley Board of Assessors for 27 years. He was a former member of the Dudley Democratic Committee and was an original member of the Dudley Charter Commission.
He enjoyed all sports, especially the Boston Red Sox. He attended many Holy Cross College football games with his daughters. He took his grandchildren to Pawtucket Red Sox games, and was their greatest fan at their activities in school sports, drama, music and other pursuits. He was a jack of all trades and master of several. He enjoyed gardening and tending his yard.
The funeral will be held Friday, September 14, from Scanlon Funeral Service, 38 East Main Street, Webster, with a Mass at 10:00 AM in Saint Louis Church, 14 Lake Street, Webster. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, Dudley. The Webster-Dudley Veterans Council will perform the military honors at the cemetery. Calling hours will be from 5:00 to 8:00 PM Thursday, September 13, at the funeral home. Donations may be made to either the Webster-Dudley Veterans Council, Veterans Way, or to St. Louis School Endowment Fund, 15 Lake St., both in Webster, MA 01570.