WATERBURY- Mr. Cornelius J. "Connie" Collins, of 162 Beth Lane, Waterbury, passed away Thursday morning April 1, 2010, surrounded by his family, at St. Mary's Hospital. He was the husband of the late Katherine T. (O'Connell) Collins, who passed away in 2005 after 52 years of marriage.
"Connie" was born in Lahern, County Cork, Ireland and first settled in Bridgeport, CT. He had been a resident of Waterbury for over 53 years, and the owner of Collins Electric Company. He was a communicant of St. Leo the Great Church. In 1963 he was president and instrumental in the acquiring and purchase of the land and construction of the present Club building of Msgr. Slocum Div. #1, Ancient Order of Hibernians. He was active in the National, County, State and local organizations. He had served as President of the local Division for over 21 years and held various leadership roles in the County and State organizations. He was Past National Vice-President of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.. Mr. Collins earned the distinguished honor of National Life Member. He was named "Irish Mayor for the Day" in 1996, and "Hibernian of the Year" in 2007. That same year the Hall at the A.O. H. was named "Collins Hall" in his honor. For 46 years, with the help of his late wife, he hosted "The Voice of Ireland" an annual radio broadcast during the St. Patrick's Day holidays on local radio.
He leaves his daughter, Bridget Collins Regan, her husband and his good friend Shaun Regan of Waterbury; two brothers, the Rev. Dennis Collins of Black Rock, Dublin, Ireland and John Collins and his wife Eileen of Lahern, County Cork, Ireland. He also leaves his beloved granddaughter, Katherine Theresa Regan, and his faithful companion, his dog, Erin. Among his survivors are several brother and sister in laws and nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 10 am at St. Leo the Great Church, 20 Bentwood Dr., Waterbury. Friends are asked to meet directly at the church prior to Mass. Burial will be in the Hibernian Plot in Old St. Joseph's Cemetery, Hamilton Ave., Waterbury. Calling hours will be held on Monday April 5th from 4 to 8 pm in Collins Hall at the Ancient Order of Hibernians, 91 Golden Hill St., Waterbury. Members of the A.O.H. and L.A.O.H meeting at 7 p.m. The Mulville Funeral Home, 270 West Main St., Waterbury is in charge of arrangements. If desired, contributions in his memory may be made to the Cornelius and Katherine Collins Scholarship, c/o Msgr. Slocum Div. #1 , Ancient Order of Hibernians, 91 Golden Hill St., Waterbury, 06706