Thomas John Collins, Sr.

Collins, Sr., Thomas John Age 88, passed away on June 19th, 2022 at Woodwinds Hospital in Woodbury, Minnesota. He was born on September 20th, 1933 in Spring Valley, Minnesota to Walter J. "Jack" and Lillian P. (Applen) Collins. He attended elementary school in Blooming Prairie, MN and middle and high school in Austin, Minnesota. He graduated from Pacelli High School in Austin in the Class of 1951 and subsequently graduated from the College of St. Thomas in 1955 with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science. He taught History and Religion at Our Lady of Grace in Edina. After teaching in Edina he entered seminary at Catholic University in Washington DC with the intent of being ordained a Catholic priest. Due to his father's failing health he left the seminary and returned to Austin where he taught Latin and History at Pacelli High School and attained a Master's degree in Education from the College of St. Thomas. While in Austin he met Virginia Hoerner, whom he married on June 9th, 1964 in Litomsyl, MN. After their nuptials he became principal at various high schools in Minnesota, including Cleveland, Jackson and Buhl. In 1974 he retired from the Education field and moved the family to the Twin Cities where he began his career in sales, first in life insurance and then in automotive sales for 44 years until his retirement in 2020. He is survived by his sons, Thomas Collins, Jr., of Inver Grove Heights, and Christopher (Alia) Collins, of Woodbury; three grandsons, Mark, Gregory, and John Collins; and a sister, Rosemary LeTendre, of Slayton, MN. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, and his father and mother-in-law, Tony and Martha Hoerner. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10AM Saturday, Jun 25th at the Church of St. Louis, King of France, 506 Cedar St., St. Paul. Visitation 1 hour prior to Mass in the church. Interment at Resurrection Cemetery in Mendota Heights following Mass. Casual lunch reception at 12:30 at the Collins residence, 2461 Blueberry Street, Inver Grove Heights, MN, 55076. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a charity of your choice. Klecatsky and Sons Southern Funeral Home (651) 451-1551