SARATOGA LAKE - John Robert Collins, 74, passed away peacefully on June 16, 2018 at his home on Saratoga Lake from heart failure. Born in Troy, NY on August 25, 1943, Jack as he was known to friends and family was the third child of the late Robert Arthur Collins and Mary Esther McCarthy Collins. He is survived by his sister, Lynda Lenahan, and a host of nieces and nephews: Aaron, Bryan, and Keith Collins; Heather Ogren; Shannon Lenahan; Kristie Cooper; Derek Lenahan; Ryan Majek; Jayme Torelli; Shawn, Colin, and Christopher Miller; Danine Welsh, and Lyn McGee.
A graduate of Mechanicville High School, Jack received his diploma in 1961 and subsequently joined the Navy where he served as a petty officer until his honorable discharge in 1964. Using the knowledge he gained in the Navy, he worked as a heavy equipment mechanic for D.A. Collins Construction for many years before becoming an independent long-haul truck driver in the early 1980s. On his travels across the country, he collected all sorts of things in his rig - like gently used couches, clothing, bikes, blankets, tools, and sporting equipment - that he would bring back to the family. You never knew when Jack would call to say that he had parked his truck at the local high school and that he had a few things for you that he had come across “on the side of the road.” Jack finished his transportation career driving for Walmart and retired in 2003.
Jack loved using his mechanical skills to find unique ways to keep engines running (or get them started), hold docks together, prevent erosion along the lake front, or get boats in and out of the water. The only thing he loved more than MacGyvering solutions to help out his neighbors was a good debate and spending time with his family. He was never happier than when hosting the extended clan for the 4th of July celebration each year.
In addition to his parents, Jack was predeceased by his sisters Catherine Pauline Majek and Mary Louise Collins Miller and by his brother, Edward F. Collins.
Visitation for family and friends will be held at DeVito-Salvadore Funeral Home, 39 S Main St, Mechanicville on Wednesday, June 20 from 10:30 a.m. to noon. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated following visitation at 12:30 p.m. at All Saints On The Hudson South Church, 121 North Main Street, Mechanicville. Internment with full military honors will take place after the Mass at Memory’s Garden, 983 Watervliet Shaker Road, Albany NY 12205.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Homes For Our Troops www.myhfotusa.org a privately funded 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization building and donating specially adapted, custom homes nationwide for the most severely injured Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.