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Neil Burton Collings

01/03/1923

01/16/2016

FACTS

Born: January 3, 1920
Death: January 16, 2016

Neil Burton Collings, age 96 of Grand Rapids, passed away Saturday, January 16, 2016. Neil was born in W. Lafayette, IN, January 6, 1920 to Banks and Maude Collings, who precede him in death. He is also preceded in death by his sister, Janice Cartee; first wife, Mary; son, John Anthony Collings; and second wife, Lydia. He will be dearly missed and always remembered by his children James (Del) Collings, Candice (Dave) Malivuk, Stephen Collings; step-children, Debbie Cook Wiggans and Ronald Cook; grandchildren, Jimmy Collings, Kris Collings, Kelly Plyler, Mark Bilski, Lisa Bilski, Elisabeth Tiechert, Gavin Collings; step-grandson, Matthew Wiggans; great grandchildren, Jordan, Cayden, Kimberlyn; favorite niece Lynn Cartee; and brother-in-law, Larry Vega. Neil attended Purdue University and after the war graduated from the University of Maryland. During WWII he served in the USAF as Captain, stationed in the Aleutian Islands. During the war he met and married Mary Frances Madden and began a wonderful life together; they would fill their lives with four children, many wonderful adventures, trips and many pets. Neil’s long and successful career in the insurance industry brought his family to Grand Rapids in 1967 where he became part of the rapidly growing Foremost Insurance Company as Vice President of Administration and Operations, during that time he served on boards of many organizations. He was proudest of his work at Aquinas, where he even taught a few classes. Sadly, Mary, his loving wife of 32 years passed away and he later married Lydia Vega and moved to Texas where they spent 20 happy years with more adventures, trips, but no pets. After Lydia tragically passed away Neil returned to Grand Rapids. Neil was an avid reader; loved fiction and especially history. He was a great gardener in all types of climates and his family enjoyed the beauty he created. He most loved family parties; sharing jokes and time with family. He will be missed by the many lives he touched. Following Neil’s wishes cremation has taken place and a private memorial service will be held.

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