Eva Mae Collins, 88

Oct. 22, 1925-Dec. 3, 2013

    Eva Mae Collins, a native of Montauk whose extensive collection of lighthouse replicas was displayed some years ago at the East Hampton Library, died on Dec. 3 at the Westhampton Care Center. She was 88, and had been in failing health for some time.

    Mrs. Collins, a daughter of Charles Leonard McDonald and the former Mary Jane Burke, was born at Southampton Hospital on Oct. 22, 1925. After the family house in Montauk’s old fishing village was destroyed in the 1938 hurricane, they moved to a new one in the hamlet. Mrs. Collins attended the Montauk School and graduated from East Hampton High School in 1942.

    After her marriage to James Collins in 1951, they built a house on Cove Hollow Road in East Hampton, where their four children grew up. Mr. Collins died  in 1986.

    Mrs. Collins took part-time jobs as her children grew older. She worked at the Amaden Gay Agency in East Hampton, and as a bookkeeper for John Defalco, a builder and family friend.

    She loved to learn, her family said, and instilled that love in her sons and daughters. She was as good a talker as she was a listener, said her daughter Patricia Sales of East Hampton, “and those excellent communication skills made her the hands-down ‘Jeopardy’ champion of the family.”

    She was also said to be an accomplished knitter, so skilled that she could click away without looking.

    Religion was a very important part of Mrs. Collins’s life. She was a member of Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church of East Hampton, where funeral services were held on Monday, Msgr. Charles Guarino, a family friend, officiating. Burial followed at the church cemetery on Cedar Street.

    Besides Ms. Sales, Mrs. Collins is survived by two sons, James Collins Jr. of Southampton and Charles Collins of East Hampton, and another daughter, Teresa Collins of Amagansett. Also surviving are two sisters, Frances Ecker of Montauk and Celina Seitz of East Hampton; seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. A brother, Vincent McDonald, died before her. 

    Memorial donations have been suggested to the Westhampton Care Center, 78 Old Country Road, Westhampton 11977, the Montauk Food Pantry, P.O. Box 5027, Montauk 11954, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tenn. 38105, In Jordan’s Honor, 133 Harbor Watch Court, Sag Harbor 11963, or to a charity of one’s choice.