Leo R. Collins
Leo R. Collins, 82, of Mentor, passed away February 13, 2017, at University Hospitals Richmond Medical Center. He was born November 21, 1934, in Cleveland, the son of Robert T. and Mary (Finnerty) Collins. He graduated from Cathedral Latin School in 1952 and John Carroll University in 1956. A star football player at both schools and three-year letterman at Carroll (and semi-finalist in the 1954 Plain Dealer Golden Gloves tournament), he declined a 1957 invitation to try out for the NFL's Baltimore Colts, choosing instead to attend Cleveland-Marshall Law School (now the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law). While attending college and law school, Leo served as a deputy sheriff in Lake County and a policeman in Willoughby, following the example of his father, who was the longest-serving Chief of Police in Willowick. In 1962, after passing the bar exam, Leo established his law office in Mentor, where he was a fixture in the local legal community for 51 years, until his retirement in June 2013. Among many contributions to the community, he was Mentor's law director and Kirtland's first law director. He served as foreman of the Lake County Grand Jury in 1974 and president of the Lake County Bar Association in 1976, and played a leading role in the Lake County Bar Association's 1997 efforts to establish a fourth General Jurisdiction seat on the Lake County Court of Common Pleas. An avid golfer, Leo could frequently be found in foursomes on local courses and outings to his favorite golf resorts. He was an aviation enthusiast, joining the post-WWII Civil Air Patrol in his early teens. Eventually an instrument-rated pilot, he was a familiar face for many years at Lost Nation Airport, the starting point for flights throughout the U.S. and to Canada and the Caribbean. He is survived by his wife, Lenore (Neff); seven children with his former wife, Peggy: Peter (Kathleen), Mary (Robert) Cronin, Stuart, Edith (Wayne) Marsiglio, Kelly, Susan (James) Ethridge, and Meagan (Matt, of blessed memory) Robinson; grandchildren, Amanda (great-grandson John Tristen), Katie, Macgregor, Francesca, Keely, Deanna, Frankie, Samantha, Joe, Gavin, Maddie Sue, and Collin; and sister, Mary Katherine Posipanka. His parents and his brothers, Cliff and John Patrick preceded him in death. The family will receive friends from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, February 19, at The Abbey of Willoughby, 38011 Euclid Ave. (located on the grounds of McMahon-Coyne-Vitantonio Funeral Home), in Willoughby, with celebration of life to be held at 5:30 p.m. Burial will take place on a later date at Mentor Municipal Cemetery, 6881 Hopkins Rd., Mentor. Donations in Leo's memory are suggested to University Advancement, John Carroll University, 1 John Carroll Blvd., University Heights, OH 44118, or to the Intensive Care Unit, UH Richmond Medical Center, (a campus of UH Regional Hospitals), 27100 Chardon Rd., Cleveland, OH 44143. To leave condolences for the family or light a memorial candle, visit www.MCVfuneralhomes.com.
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