Thursday, July 29, 2021

Michael Clifton Collins, 1945-2021

| July 15, 2021 1:00 AM

Michael peacefully left this world, surrounded by his family, on a rainy afternoon in mid-June. He was born in Tacoma, Washington, to Clifton Collins and Betty (Sizer Collins) Bennett.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by brothers, John Collins and Dan Collins; stepfather, David Bennett; and stepmother, Marvel Sanders Collins. Mike is survived by two daughters, Leslie (Jay) Barber and Barbie (Larry) Collins Young; his three grandsons, Duncan, Finnley and Spencer; and siblings, Kathleen Collins, Martin Collins, Nancy (Nick) Collins Nugent, Shannon Collins and Patrick Collins; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Mike grew up in Soap Lake, Washington, and was always very active in sports and outdoor activities. He attended the University of Washington, where he rowed on the crew team. Over the years, his work with Burlington Northern Railroad took the family all over the Midwest. He moved to Sandpoint, Idaho, in 1983, where he was very involved in local athletics as both a participant and a race director.

Sadly, in January 1988, Mike tangled with a lift tower during a ski race at Schweitzer, resulting in quadriplegia. He went on to finish his degree at the UW Bothell, and spent many decades advocating for people with disabilities throughout the country. After retiring as head of the National Council on Disability, he moved to Redmond, Washington, to be near his family, spending time writing and enjoying time with his three grandsons. He died knowing that he had positively impacted many people.

There is no funeral planned, however, Mike wanted to continue to make a difference posthumously — please feel free donate to organizations that he supported: The Eastside Chapter of NAMI: National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI)  and Global Mobility