137 E. Laketon Ave • Muskegon MI.
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Obituary for William R. Collins Jr.

Born: April 19th, 1936
Passed Away: July 20th, 2017

Celebration of Life

Sunday August 20th, 2017
2:00pm at Evanston Avenue Baptist Church
Directions to Evanston Avenue Baptist Church


William "Bill" Richard Collins Jr, age 81, of Muskegon, MI, joined his wife and other loved ones in heaven on July 20, 2017. Bill was the proud Father of his son, William Richard Collins III, of Muskegon, MI; daughters; Lisa Collins of Ludington, MI; Kim (Charles) Johnson of Ionia, MI; Tamara Collins and Terri Dotson (Dennis Roberson) of the Houston, Texas area.

Bill was preceded in death by his wife of 48 years, the former Janice Marie Rakestraw, on May 7, 2017. He was born on April 19, 1936 to William Richard Collins Senior and Mattie Augusta Edwards "Dot" Crain. He is survived by his sister, Cora Jane Akershoek of Muskegon, MI.

His brother-in-law, Joseph Akershoek, preceded him in death in January 2017. His parents, along with his Fathers-in-law, Russell Rakestraw and Fabian Marchido preceded him in death as well. He is survived by his Mother-in-law, Dolores (Stoppels) Rakestraw Marchido, and his Brother and Sister-in-law Gary and Barb Rakestraw.

He loved being a Grandpa to Nathan Ball of Grand Rapids, MI; Kristen and Nathan Black of Ionia, MI; Kaitlyn, Conner and Chase Maciag of Ludington, MI; Jennifer Coronado of Houston, TX; and Great Grandpa to Hailey and Jackson Black of Ionia, MI. He also loved being an " adoptive" Grandpa to Johonna, Anna, Gena, Ava, Sophia, and Cameron Lundquist of Muskegon, MI.

Bill grew up on "Jackson Hill" in Muskegon, MI and proudly served his country in the United States Navy for 4 years, from 1955-1959, serving in Newfoundland, Cuba and other ports and stations, after leaving his studies at Muskegon Senior High School in 1955. As an adult, Bill returned to Muskegon Senior High School and graduated in 1976, celebrating the Bicentennial, which was a very proud achievement for him and his family.

Bill was a very avid Big Red Football Supporter (Muskegon Senior High School) all of his life and served as a volunteer statistician for many years and painted the "Big Red Indian" mascot, and later the "Big Red "M" on the football field for many years as well.

Bill was a retiree from Sealed Power Corporation (SPX), after working there for 35 years, at both the Keating Avenue and Harvey Street plants in Muskegon. He later volunteered at the Coopersville Marne Railroad and worked on the USS Badger, sailing from Ludington to Milwaukee.

Bill and his wife were members of Evanston Avenue Baptist Church in Muskegon, MI having first attended there in the 1970s and until just prior to his wife's death and his recent relocation. Bill was very artistically creative all of his life. He enjoyed creating villages, elaborate settings and train tables for his model railroad trains. He also enjoyed making model airplanes, while forgoing using any pre-packaged kits.

Bill and Jan loved to picnic, anywhere at anytime, with Bill always being the grill master. He and his wife loved going to Lake Harbor Park, Pere Marquette State Park and Ludington State Park. They loved fishing, boating and camping as well.

A small joint Celebration of Life gathering is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Sunday, August 20, 2017 at Evanston Ave. Baptist Church, 1188 Evanston Ave. in Muskegon.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider making a donation in Bill's name to the Leila & Cyrus Poppen House Hospice Residence.