Joe Collins

Joe Carroll Collins

Wednesday, April 26th, 1933 - Sunday, March 21st, 2021
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Joe Carroll Collins, 87, of St. Joseph, MI passed away Sunday, March 21, 2021 at Stately Living in St. Joseph.

A Memorial Service will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church in St. Joseph, Sarett Nature Center or the St. Joseph Public School Foundation. Those wishing to share a memory of Joe online may do so at

Joe was born April 26, 1933 in Portland, TN to Edward and Ruth (Webb) Collins. He served his country in the United States Marine Corp prior to marrying Glenna Carol Shook on April 1, 1961 in Marlette, MI. Joe started his Michigan teaching career in South Haven before moving to St. Joseph. He taught biology at St. Joe High School for 28 years as well as coaching football and girls track. Joe earned 'favored teacher" status with his many well-known chicken experiments. Joe was an active member of the First United Methodist Church with Glenna; they enjoyed working in the parish gardens. He volunteered many hours at Sarett Nature Center for over 20 years and was also involved with Berrien Teachers Credit Union for 40 years.

Joe is survived by his wife Glenna Collins; son Michael (Alison) Collins; daughter Kimberly Collins; three grandsons Sam Collins, Emil Collins and Kevin Burg; brothers Jon (Geraldine) Collins and Frank (Lucky) Collins; and sister Anne Crutcher. Joe was preceded in death by his parents and siblings William, Robert, Jim, Walter, Jerry and Wilma.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to Grace Hospice and to the wonderful care given at Stately Living.
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Private Condolence

Jennifer Ast

Posted at 06:04am
Add me to the list of former students who are so glad and lucky to have had Mr. Collins as a biology teacher. His class was always fun (who could forget the chicks?) and his enthusiasm for the subject was infectious. He and Mr Pschigoda took some of us to universities in Kalamazoo and Chicago to see science lectures, and he let me do an independent study with him, which we used to attempt to teach flatworms to run a simple maze. That last experiment was never a success, but his encouragement in the face of failure was important — think about what didn’t work and try again, because figuring stuff out is the fun part of science. He was an important influence on me, and I send my deep condolences to his family.

Jonathan Wuepper

Posted at 12:36pm
My condolences to Joe's family. I knew Joe from canoeing, the big voyager canoes, during my years at Sarett Nature Center. They speak of Joe often, and with fond memories at the nature center. I'm proud to have known him.

Jonathan Wuepper


Posted at 03:51pm
Our condolences to Glenna and family. We knew Joe from church. During coffee time, he would always ask about our children whom he had taught. He and Glenna were very active at First United Methodist Church maintaining the entrance garden and contributing to church improvements. It is so sad that dementia in his last years prevented him continuing his good works for his family, friends, church and community

Robert Husek

Posted at 09:42pm
It was my pleasure to know and work with Joe at First United he was a dedicated man of God and to his church---Robert Husek

Randy Pullins

Posted at 02:09pm
My condolences to the family. Mr. Collins was my biology teacher in high school. I pushed his patience sometimes but he was always way ahead of me and settled me down with his cool and steady disposition. I'm not surprised to just now learn he was a Marine. He was a fine man and a good teacher.

Randy Pullins

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