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William J. Collins

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William J. Collins, Sr.
Superintendent Emeritus

LOWELL -- William J. Collins, Sr., 79, a longtime resident of the city's Belvidere section, died Sunday, July 27 at his home, surrounded by his loving family and dear friends after an extended illness. He was the husband of the late Patricia J. (Lynch) Collins, who passed away

in 2000.

Bill was the long time and popular Superintendent-Director of Greater Lowell Technical High School for 23 years, retiring in

July 1999.

Born in Cambridge on November 26, 1934, a son of the late Cornelius and the late Kathleen (Ryan) Collins, he was a lifelong communicant of the Immaculate Conception Church, where he founded and organized the annual liturgy for cancer in honor of Saint Peregrine. In 2004, Bill was honored as a Distinguished Graduate by the Immaculate Conception School.

A graduate of the Immaculate Conception Grammar School, he went on to graduate high school from Keith Academy in 1952. Bill graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration in 1956, followed by a Master's degree in Education from Fitchburg State College in 1960.

He was also a veteran of the Massachusetts Army National Guard with the rank of sergeant.

Bill was a teacher and guidance counselor at the Lowell Trade School for many years before moving on to the Greater Lowell Regional Vocational Technical School (now Greater Lowell Technical High School) when it opened in 1974, becoming its Superintendent-Director two years later. He also worked for Community Teamwork, Inc.

Active and involved in many educational, community, and business groups, he was a member of the MA Association of School Superintendents, MA Vocational Association, Retired Educators of MA, National Association of Secondary School Principals, Merrimack Education Center, Lowell Catholic High School Board of Trustees, Past President of Merrimack Valley Association of School Superintendents, MA Association of Vocational School Administrators, Governing Board - Lowell General Hospital, and Trustee - Lowell 5 Cent Savings Bank, and Lowell Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. In 2012 he received the Bishop McNamara Award from Lowell Catholic High School for his support of Catholic Secondary Education.

Bill enjoyed travelling the world, spending his winters in Florida. His grandchildren were the light of his life and he enjoyed attending their many sporting events and other activities, including graduations. Bill loved dining out, and was a lifelong fan of the Red Sox.

He is survived by his three children, Eileen M. Dufour and her husband Joseph of Dracut, William J. Collins, Jr. and his wife Beverly of Tyngsboro, and Martha A. Armstrong, with whom he resided, of Lowell; seven grandchildren, J. Paul Dufour III, Patrick J. Dufour, Matthew J. Dufour, William J. Collins III, Rachel M. Collins, Shaleigh P. Armstrong, Kevin J. Armstrong; and his sister Marie A. O'Connor of Danvers; and many nieces and nephews.

Bill is also survived by Joan Stackpole, his dear friend and companion of many years.

He was the brother of the late Cornelius B. Collins who died in 1990 and the brother-in-law of the late Richard T. O'Connor who died in 1999.

COLLINS -- In Lowell, July 27, 2014, at home, William J. Collins, Sr., 79, husband of the late Patricia J. (Lynch) Collins. Friends may call at the O'DONNELL FUNERAL HOME, 276 PAWTUCKET ST. at Fletcher from 3 to 8 P.M. Thursday. Relatives and friends are invited to attend his Funeral Mass to be celebrated Friday morning at the IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CHURCH (Lower Church) at 10 o'clock. Burial at St. Mary Cemetery in No. Tewksbury. E-condolences/directions at odonnellfuneralhome.com. Those wishing may make contributions in his memory to Lowell General Hospital Cancer Center, c/o Philanthropy Office, 295 Varnum Ave., Lowell, MA 01854. Arrangements by Funeral Directors James F. O'Donnell, Jr. and John W. Crane (978 or 866) 458-8768.
Published in Lowell Sun on July 30, 2014
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