We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
Duane J. Collins
September 22, 1925 ~ September 28, 2022 (age 97) 97 Years Old
Duane J Collins “Duey” born September 22, 1925, the only child of Glenn and Eva (Wheeler) Collins of Valparaiso In, died peacefully the evening of September 27, 2022 with his family at his side.
Duey, a graduate of Valparaiso High School was an avid swimmer and life guard at the Indiana Dunes State Park in the early 1940’s before he enlisted in Army Air Corps. He couldn’t believe his good fortune to be stationed at Miami Beach, Florida! After being discharged from the military, Duey returned to Valparaiso and enrolled in Valparaiso University on the GI bill, where he finished his education with a graduate degree. While attending the university, Duey met and married Nancy Small. Together they had four children: Tom (Sue) Collins, David (Dawn) Collins, Ron (Carol) Collins, and Liz (Ron Helsel) Collins, and grandchildren (Tom’s daughters) Kate Madellin and Sara Daugherty, and (David’s son) Aaron Collins, all of who survive. By all accounts Duey was a lucky man. He drove convertibles, and enjoyed boating, all while raising his young family. He was a very social person, and always had people around to share a joke and a laugh with.
He was an excellent all-around athlete. He played softball, 12” and 16” mush ball. He water skied and boated on Lake Michigan from the 1950’s until Nancy’s passing in November 1988. Duey snow skied and was a member of the Duneland Ski Club in the 1970’s and 1980’s. During those years, he also played competitive hand ball with son, Ron. A few years after Nancy passed away, Duey met Karen Steinborn, of Michigan City, at the beach. Karen and Duey enjoyed over twenty years of going to the local beaches and vacationing in Treasure Island, Boca Raton, and Deerfield Beach, Florida. Duey served as a board member of the Valpo Y in the early 1980’s.He was a lifetime member and the oldest member, of the Valpo Elks Lodge #500, with over 70 years of membership. In addition, Duey was a long-term member of the American Legion Post #94, and a member of the Eagles Aerie #2517. Duey began his career in life insurance in 1950 with Claudon & Anderson Insurance Company. He transitioned from life insurance to property and casualty, and created Collins Insurance Agency in 1954. Along with his daughter Liz Collins, they continued to operate Collins Insurance Agency in Valparaiso, until 1997.Private Services were held. A Celebration of life will be held on Friday, October 14, 2022 at the Valparaiso Country Club, 2501 Country Club Road, Valparaiso, IN. 46383, from 3-7 PM. Memorial Donations may be made to the Valparaiso YMCA or Donor’s choice.