Mary Collins, 86, was reunited with the love of her life — her late husband, John Collins — Jan. 1, 2020. A West Akron resident since 1970, she was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was one of four children and the daughter of Sicilian immigrants.
She met her soulmate, John, when she was 18 at a church dance in Brooklyn and they were married for more than 50 years. She and John were known to family and friends for their famous New York-style pizza. Pizza parties always took place on Fridays, and family and friends would often stop by for a slice. She loved cooking and feeding others, especially her lasagna and meatballs, which she made with love. While she was 100 percent Italian, she embraced her husband’s Irish heritage and loved celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.
She always had a smile on her face and encouraged her four children to follow their dreams, always supporting them in everything they did.
She loved helping out at St. Sebastian’s and cofounded the school’s band with her husband and late friend. Music was important to her, and if there was an opportunity to dance, she would. She and John even encouraged their children to learn to play several instruments.
Having lived in West Akron for more than 40 years, her neighborhood was important to her, and she was very active in her neighborhood Block Watch. She enjoyed working with her local Councilwoman and informing residents of issues in the neighborhood.
There are not enough words to describe the impact Mary had on so many people. She was the best wife, mother, grandmother and friend anyone could have. She will be missed by many.
She was preceded in death by her husband, John; parents, Giuseppe and Maria (Buscemi) Crimi; and brothers, Joseph and Angelo Crimi.
Mary is survived by her son, Brian (Noreen) Collins of Cuyahoga Falls; daughters, Mary Ellen (Harold) Johnson of Akron, Kathleen (Sean) Gerski of Cuyahoga Falls, Christine (Rob) Heiser of Tallmadge; grandchildren, Alicia and Sean Collins, Griffin and Victoria Johnson, and Russell III, Ava and Layla Heiser; grand-dog, Kevin Gerski; her brother, Salvatore Crimi; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Calling hours will be Tuesday, Jan. 7, from 4-7 p.m. at Donovan Funeral Home, 17 Southwest Ave. (On the Historic Tallmadge Circle).
A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at St. Sebastian Church (478 Mull Ave. in West Akron) Jan. 8 at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Thomas McCann officiating, followed by the burial at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery (10175 Rawiga Road, Rittman). Procession will form at the church.
In lieu of flowers, Mary requested donations be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in honor of her granddaughter, Layla Heiser, who courageously lives with this disease.
To send flowers to Mary's family, please visit our floral section.
JDRF-Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation