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Michael Smith
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Esther Chessin
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D: 2017-08-24
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B: 1929-12-08
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Obituary for Grace Collins

Grace Collins
Mom

Our "Amazing Grace" went to join her big Irish family in heaven peacefully on April 2, 2017.

Grace Clifton Doyle was born October 29, 1930 in Freeport, NY to Matthew and Anna Doyle. She joined an already large family of 4 brothers and 4 sisters as Number 9 and later was joined by her younger sister, making 10 altogether. Gracie graduated from Queen of the Rosary Academy High School in Amityville, N.Y. and with the help of her siblings was the first to graduate college as a registered nurse from St. Catherine’s Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y. She spent many years working in Queens General Hospital and she loved her work as a nurse, and it was doing this job that she met her husband of 61 years Joseph Collins. They were married September 24, 1955 in New York and went on to have four children Maureen (Moe), Kevin, Tim, and Kathleen (Katy). They raised the family in Massapequa, NY until 1975 when work took them to St. Louis where they lived until 2003, finally making their last move to Montana, where they retired.

Gracie spent her years in St. Louis doing a wide variety of volunteer work for Birthright, their church, and most noted was her time with the 100 Neediest Cases, where she spent countless hours at Christmas making sure the neediest families of St. Louis had everything they wished for to make their holiday. She also spent her time in St. Louis making people smile as ‘Lulu the Clown”, with her clowning partner Marge, they were in many parades and entertained the young and old. Her years in Polson were spent with the Red Hat Ladies, her tap-dancing group, and more volunteer work with their church.

Grace was an exceptional wife, sister, mother, aunt, grandmother, and great-grandmother, she taught us all lessons in life, but her greatest lesson was her love of life and her family. She enjoyed many things over her 86 years, especially her ability to brighten up any room and to be the life of the party wherever she showed up. Her smile is and always will be infectious, keeping a smile on her face right to the very end.

She is survived by her husband Joseph of 61 years, daughter Maureen Coryell (Carson) of Polson, son Kevin Collins (the late Bernadette) of Florida, son Tim Collins (Susan) of St. Louis, and daughter Katy McKinnon (Russ) of Missoula. Grandchildren, Michelle (J.J.), Mike (Heidi), Maggie (Luke), Noelle (Mark), Stuart (Annie), Alli (Greg), Meagan, Rian, and great-grandchildren Michael, Naomi, Hannah, Elijah, Davis, Archie, Lori and Sydney.

The family would especially like to thank Gracie's family of caregivers at Hestia Home Care and the wonderful group at Partners in Home Care Hospice.

Mom, just know, the weather outside is no longer frightful, it will always be delightful!!

A visitation will be held at Garden City Funeral Home on Wednesday, April 5th from 5:00-7:00 p.m., with a vigil following at 7:00 p.m., and a Catholic funeral service will be held at St. Francis Xavier Church on Thursday, April 6th at 10:30 a.m. A private burial will be held this summer.
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