COLLINS, Connie Wilson
Connie Wilson Collins, 84 of New Britain, passed away Monday (January 21, 2013) at UConn Health Center in Farmington. She was born November 25, 1928, in New York City to the late Anthony Wilson and Lulu B. Johnson. Connie worked for the John Driscoll United Labor Agency for many years. After retiring Connie remained active in her community despite mobility issues. Connie attended Harvard University where she obtained a Master's Degree in Education. Connie was the first African American elected to public office in the city of New Britain. She served for three terms as Alderwoman on the Common Council and many years on the City Planning Commission. One of her most memorable accomplishments as a member of the Common Council; was when Connie spearheaded the quest by the Mary McLeod Bethune Club in the renaming of Hartford Avenue to Martin Luther King, Jr., Drive. Connie is one of the tri-founders and Past President of the Opportunities Industrialization Center of New Britain's Board of Directors. She served for 30 years in that role. Connie was appointed by Reverend Leon Sullivan as the Vice Chair of OIC of America, Inc., and later served as Chairperson of the OICA Board of Directors. Connie was one of the founding members of the Anna Warmsley Temple #1073. She served as the first Daughter Ruler and held many high ranking positions both nationally and state-wide. Her love and passion for the temple encouraged many other women to join the organization. Connie was the first African American and the first women elected President of a Union at Landers, Frary and Clark later known as General Electric in New Britain. Connie served as President of the United Electrical Workers of America Local 207. Connie was a founding member of the McCullough Temple CME Church, where she proudly served in several capacities: Sunday School Superintendent, President of the Pastor's Aide, organizer of the church's first Usher Board, and as a Trustee. Connie served on numerous committees and served as Chairperson of the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, member of the Advisory Board of American Savings Bank, Chamber of Commerce, Mid-Connecticut Workforce Partners, Inc. Board of Directors, Capital Workforce Partners, Inc. Board of Directors, Board of Trustees of YWCA and Hospital of Central Connecticut. Connie leaves to cherish her memory, her daughter; Tonilynn Collins and her fiancé Edward James; her adopted son, Ellis "Skeeter" Williams; and her former son-in-law Hershel Bailey; her namesake granddaughter Connie Bailey and her granddaughter, Lucretia Collins-Frett (Frederick); her grandsons Michael Collins and Douglas Davis; her great-grandson Langston Collins-Frett; her daughter-in-law Sharon Collins; her special cousin Maryann Jackson; and her lifelong friend Emma Pierce, who was her sister by choice; and other relatives and many friends. Connie was predeceased by her husband Alphonzo S. Collins, son Michael A. Collins, her two brothers, Anthony Wilson, Jr. and James Majors.
Homegoing Celebration for Connie will be held Sunday January 27, 2013 at 7 p.m. from Trinity-on-Main, 69 Main Street, New Britain, with the Rev. Thomas A. Mills, Jr., Pastor of McCullough Temple C.M.E. Church, presiding. Burial will be private. Relatives and friends may call at Trinity-on-Main Sunday from 4- 7 p.m. The Anna Warmsley Temple #1073 will hold a ritual at 6 p.m. Flowers will be accepted at Trinity-on-Main, Sunday from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Service of comfort provided by the Paul A. Shaker / Farmingdale Funeral Home, 764 Farmington Avenue, New Britain, Ct. To extend condolences to the Collins family or to share a memory of Connie, please visit our website @ shakerfuneralhome.com.