RONAN - Mary Eleanor Collins passed into Heaven and God's arms on Wednesday, April 25, 2007, in Ronan.
Mary was born in Kalispell on March 20, 1922, to Tom and Laudia Frolin of Niarada. She moved from Niarada, as a young girl, with her parents and four brothers and one sister to Alberta, Canada, where she received her education from grades one through eight. In order to continue into high school, she would have had to board in town and her parents could not afford this. She loved school so much that this was very hard for her.
She returned with her family to Niarada and worked for Mrs. O'Connell at her huge sheep ranch, feeding the hands and learning many home skills. Mrs. O'Connell taught her to make wonderful pies that she continued to excel in for the rest of her life. Mary was a wonderful cook and able to make wonderful meals out of very little. She always raised a huge garden and managed to put away hundreds of canned goods to feed her hungry family through the winter months.
Mary married Slim Collins in Thompson Falls on June 11, 1941. They lived in Hog Heaven where Slim worked at the Flathead mine for several years. Jack and Neil were both kids there. She always said that those were the best years of her life.
Nancy, Judy and Paul followed after Mary and Slim moved to Lonepine and lived in a home owned by Mary's aunt and uncle, the Jud Pattons.
In 1960, the family moved to Ronan and later to Polson, where they resided until Mary moved to St. Luke Extended Care of Ronan in 2002.
Mary worked out of the home as well as keeping a wonderful home for her family. She worked at the Hot Springs Hospital, Connie Nursing Home in Ronan, the Ranch Restaurant, Main Street Market, Davis Mercantile and Harbor Light Furniture, all in Polson. She treasured all the friends and co-workers of that time.
Mary was pre-deceased by her parents, husband Slim Collins, youngest son, Paul, and brothers Donald, Dave and Tom Frolin and sister Agnes Mullen Singleton.
She is survived by her children; Jack Collins of Ronan, Neil (Donna) Collins of Ronan, Nancy (Pat) Williams of Ronan and Judy (Robin) VanNess of Pablo; 16 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; and one unborn great-grandchild in Alaska. Also surviving is brother Nels Frolin of Kansas City, Kan.
The family would like to thank Rev. Karen McRae and the many angels working at the St. Luke Extended Care for their loving care of our mother.
Memorial services will be held 2 p.m. Sunday, May 6, at the Mission Valley United Methodist Church on Post Creek Hill, with Rev. Karen McRae presiding.
A reception will be held following the services in the Fellowship Hall.