Thomas Patrick Collins, age 84, passed away on Thursday, March 16, 2023, after a period of failing health. Born in Boston, Massachusetts on November 13, 1938, he was the son of the late Michael J. and Marie E. (Egan) Collins. He was raised in Dorchester and spent his elementary school days at Saint Mark’s School. After graduating from Christopher Columbus High School, he attended Saint Anselm College. Tom continued his academic pursuits earning both his master’s degree and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) at Boston State Teachers College. Tom proudly served his country for two years as a member of the United States Marine Corps Reserve.
Tom's career began with the Medfield public school system, first working as a teacher, before taking on the role of a guidance counselor. His career extended to school administration where he served as a principal in Millis and eventually as an Assistant Superintendent for the Whitman Public Schools. His devotion to education continued in his retirement as he served as a consultant for Whitman Public Schools, regularly tutored students at Keefe Regional Technical School in Framingham, and founded Shayna Transportation, where he drove children with special needs to their local schools.
Tom's life could be summed up by three words: education, faith, and family. While working in Medfield, Tom met Lois H. Gediman, a physical education teacher, and they were married on July 3, 1968, at Saint Mark's Church in Dorchester. Together, Tom and Lois made their home in Westwood. As their family began to grow, the couple settled into their home in Walpole. Between helping his students and watching many of his family members enter the field, Tom knew the significance of guiding youth and placed tremendous value on a well-designed and thought-out curriculum. He had an unwavering devotion to his faith, as a loyal communicant of various parishes including Blessed Sacrament Church in Walpole and St. Gregory’s in Dorchester. Finally, and most importantly, Tom's family. In the early days, with Lois by his side, there was nothing he enjoyed more than family activities, whether it be a day of yard work, family track practice, unannounced Sunday visits to the various south shore relatives, “putting up the Christmas decorations and elves”, or day trips to the Ferris’ cottage in Wellfleet. He loved watching his children compete and he had a special place in his heart for the Walpole High School Porker Field Hockey Team. After earning the title of "Pappy," Tom loved watching the next generation in their athletic activities and hearing about their academic pursuits. Tom's family did not end with his children and grandchildren, as his circle extended to include his closest friends. He looked forward to monthly lunches with his First-Grade group, remaining loyal to them over the years. He cherished his weekly Sunday phone calls from his cousin, Bobby, and recognized the importance of staying connected with the Gediman side of the family. Of course, he was always happy when neighbors and friends gifted him with baked goods to indulge his ever-lasting sweet tooth. Tom truly treasured the moments when his whole clan gathered at his home in Walpole, him seated at the head of the table, delighting in storytelling and laughter. Even better was when these events coincided with St. Patrick’s Day and his love of his Irish Heritage, a gift passed along to the next generation.
Beloved husband of the late Lois H. Collins.
Loving father of Michael J. Collins (Jennifer) of North Andover, Christi M. Collins (Leida), of Roslindale, Karen E. Collins of Dover, New Hampshire, Patricia C. Barry of Norwood, Kenneth E. Collins (Meghan) of Foxborough, Donna L. Collins of Ashland, Judy E. Larkee (Scott), of Norwood, Lori J. Brodeur (Lucien), of Canton.
Devoted grandfather of Declan, Bridget, Sophie, Madelyn, Katherine, Jack, Mary, Shea, Annie, Sam, Emile, Maureen, Joseph, Jeremy, Michael, Dante, Casey, and the late Keira.
Brother of Mary E. Schroeder of Boston, and the late James M. Collins.
Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend Tom's Mass of Christian Burial that will be celebrated in Blessed Sacrament Church, 10 Diamond Street, Walpole, on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, at 10:30 AM. Interment will follow in Saint Francis Cemetery in Walpole. At the request of Tom’s family, visiting hours are private.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Tom's name may be made to Breast Cancer (breastcancer.org), your local parish, or a youth education or extra-curricular program of your choice.
Arrangements by James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, Walpole.