David W.'s Story

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David W. Collins of Rockport, Mass., passed away in the presence of his family on Friday, January 13, 2017, after many years of serious battles with cancers and surgeries. He was the devoted husband of Leslie “Bonnie” (Crowningshield) Collins; and loving father to Christian C. Collins and Ross C. Collins, both Cape Ann residents.
He was born on July 26, 1948, in Brookline, Mass., son of the late Muriel J. (Scroggins) Tucker and step-son of the late James N. Tucker, Jr., of Gloucester, Mass.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army shortly after his graduation from Gloucester High School in 1967. He was honored to achieve the rank of Specialist 5th Class and served in Vietnam and Germany.
David fell in love with his high school sweetheart. They would have celebrated their 47th anniversary on Valentine's Day. They were married at St. Mary's Church, Rockport, MA in 1970. Soon after their lovely candle light ceremony, planned in only two weeks, they both moved to Germany for the final phase of his Army enlistment. David was honorably discharged early from the Army to attend New England School of Art in Boston, Mass., graduating in 1973. His graphic art career included package design for Gillette, Essex County Newspapers, and the Cricket Press in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass.
As a child, he loved visiting his grandmother in Lanesville, picking blueberries for her pies, fishing and exploring Lane's Cove with summertime friends. Throughout his life David had many interests including reading mystery novels, jigsaw puzzles, bird feeding and bringing treats to his favorite one-legged seagull, “Hoppy,” on Back Beach, wood carving, including miniature dollhouse furniture. Later in life he found joy in designing and decorating a popular series of birdhouses. He found great pride in his carpentry and restoring of our home in Pigeon Cove, built in 1893. His signature dish “Uncle Wally's chicken fingers” were enjoyed by many close friends. He was involved in Cub Scouts with both of his sons, and chaperoned many camping and hiking trips, snipe hunts, and matchbox derbies. His creativity and sense of humor were driving forces in his enjoyment of life.
David amazed his family and friends after 10 major surgeries, many significant health struggles and battles with various cancer diagnoses. He was well known to always have a smile and a joke for those around him, remaining positive in the face of intense challenges. He always said “laughter is the medicine the Lord gave me.” He called on the power of “Sisu,” from his Finnish heritage, to help him through tough times with stamina and endurance.
Those he loved the most knew how brave and kind he was all throughout his life. He was a very special man, and we were all blessed to have loved and known him.
In addition to his wife and two sons, he is survived by his two brothers, Jack A. Collins and his wife, Cindy of Florida and Kevin E. Collins of Gloucester; his uncle, Robert Scroggins and his wife, Doris of Danvers, Mass.; his cousins, Charles “Skip” and James “Jay” Campbell of Gloucester and Hong Kong, Taiwan respectively; sister and brother-in-law, Nancy C. and Mike T. Eastman of Dover, N.H.; as well as several nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his sister, Donna (Collins) Stevens and her husband, Walter “Buddy” Stevens of Gloucester, Mass.; and his beloved mother and father-in-law, John and Mary Crowningshield of Magnolia, Mass.; uncle, Harold Scroggins of Florida; cousins, Valerie (Campbell) Elliott and Gerald Silvera.
As David wished, private interment of his ashes at Beech Grove Cemetery, Rockport, MA will take place at a later date. Donations may be made in David's memory to The American Legion, Post 98, P.O. Box 117, Rockport, MA 01966 or to the Addison Gilbert Hospital Citizens Fund, P.O. Box 1495, Gloucester, MA 01930. For online condolences and register book, please visit www.pikenewhall.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Pike-Newhall Funeral Home, 61 Middle St., Gloucester.
Published on  January 18, 2017
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