Marlene Sharon Collins, 85, passed away peacefully Sunday morning , September 10, 2023.
Born to Vaino and Lydia Himanka on May 12th 1938, in Negaunee Michigan, she was the eldest of their two daughters. Marlene attend local schools and graduated from Negaunee High in 1956. Shortly afterwards, Marlene married the love of her life Charles(Chas) Collins, on June 16th 1956 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Negaunee. They would remain married for 62 years until Chas’s passing in 2018. In 1959, they made the move to Kenosha, WI. where they would live for the next 35 years. While in Kenosha, Marlene was a homemaker and stay at home mother until her three children were old enough to attend school. She then attended Gateway Technical College where she earned a nursing degree. She was employed as an LPN at Kenosha Memorial Hospital until her retirement. Upon retiring Marlene and her husband traveled extensively and lived in several Wisconsin towns, Aniwa, Tigerton & Clintonville. Tiring of the long winters, in 2005 Marlene and Chas moved to Dunnellon, FL. They enjoyed the next 12 years in the Florida sunshine with family and good friends. Marlene and Chas would later return to Kenosha in 2017.
As a child, Marlene spent her time ice skating, snow shoeing, knitting and crocheting. Marlene learned to cook from her parents as they were both good cooks. Marlene became an excellent cook with pasties and homemade bread being her family’s favorites. Her summers were spent at “camp,” a cabin built by her parents on the bank of the Dead River in Negaunee, MI. Marlene spent her entire summers at camp until returning to school in the fall. She would spend the rest of her life vacationing at camp with family and friends at every opportunity she had.
Marlene was a good friend to all. She stayed in contact with her graduating class and attended many class reunions. She had lifelong friendships with the other “Yooper” families who moved to Kenosha. Her nursing friends were a huge part of her life along with neighbors, in-laws, her children’s friends, basically just about everyone she met would become a friend.
Marlene will be deeply missed by her family, son Robert Collins and daughter Laurie (Mark) Gerlach; grandchildren David (Sharon), Matthew (Veronica), Tricia (Josh), Steven (Erin), Linnea and Erik. Her great grandchildren, Alexis (Christian), Mariah, Landon, Logan and Liam. Marlene also opened her heart to her “adopted” grandchildren Chelsea, Bailey and Ani. Marlene was proceeded in death by her sister Shelby Young, her son Steven and her husband Chas.
The family wishes to express their deepest and most heartfelt gratitude to Marlene’s Willowgreen assisted living family. The staff and residents welcomed Marlene with open arms and provided her with support and deep caring love.
A celebration of life will be held in the future in Marlene’s hometown at which time she will be buried with her husband in the Negaunee City Cemetery.