Frances Collins


August 10, 1925 - October 18, 2018


Frances Collins, loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend, passed away peacefully on Thursday, October 18, 2018 in Boise, Idaho, surrounded by family. Fran will return to her home in Mitchell, South Dakota.

A graveside memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on November 10, 2018 at Calvary Cemetery in Mitchell, SD. There will be a reception for family and friends from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Chef Louie’s.    

Frances Collins was born on August 10, 1925, in Mitchell SD, to Henry W. and Margaret E. (Hasslinger) Schirmer. Fran attended Holy Family Catholic School & Notre Dame Academy in Mitchell and completed high school at West Seattle High School in Seattle, WA. Fran graduated high school in 1944, later attending and graduating from Mitchell Area Vocational School.

Fran’s career started with the Mitchell Public School District in 1972, when she was hired as a secretary for the Practical Nursing Program. In the fall of 1972, Fran was promoted to a position as administrative assistant to the superintendent, where she remained for over 20 years. For many of those years, the first contact anyone had with the Mitchell School District was Fran answering, "Hello, Mitchell public schools.” Fran retired in 1997 after 25 years.

Fran married Donald (Dee) Paul Collins in 1947; they were later divorced. Fran and Dee had 7 children; Jerry, Lynn, Scott, Renee, Donna, Jean and Phil.

Fran’s partner, friend and companion over the past 40 years was Colin Kapitan. They enjoyed traveling, attending concerts and Broadway shows, dining out and socializing with friends. Fran’s birthday never passed without receiving a dozen long stemmed red roses from Colin.

Fran was a phenomenal dancer, and taught dancing at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Seattle, Washington. Fran also loved shopping; she was the epitome of grace and style. Fran enjoyed coffee with friends, reading, traveling, and most importantly, spending time with her family.

Fran will be remembered also by her keen, dry sense of humor, which she was able to maintain throughout her life. She surprised her loved ones, regularly, with on-point humorous comments/perspectives in the best and worst of times.

Fran was resilient; gracious; both social and private; and the most trusted confidant you could have. She will be sorely missed.

Fran is survived by four of her children: Scott (Kari) Collins, SLC, UT; Donna (Fred) Dunn, Boise, ID; Jean (Mark) Stuckert, Wickenburg, AZ; Phil (Susan) Collins, Mitchell, SD. Fran is also survived by 10 grandchildren; Greg (Melanie) Collins, Jeff (Suzie) Collins, Jacqson (Melissa) Collins, Ryan Collins, Jess (Clair) Collins, Brooke (Peter) McLarnan; Jameson Dunn; Colin Dunn; Matt Stuckert and Ross (Jordan) Stuckert.  Additionally, Fran is survived by 7 great grandchildren; Caroline, Charlie, Matthew, Christopher, Charleigh, Regan and Hudson.  Fran is also survived by numerous cousins, nephews and nieces.

Fran was proceeded in death by one son, Jerry Collins; two daughters, Lynn Collins and Renee Collins; a brother, Stanley Schirmer and a son-in-law, Allan Cheek.

In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family prefers memorials in Fran's honor to LifeQuest Foundation, Mitchell, SD.


None Scheduled


Saturday, November 10, 2018
1:00 PM
Calvary Cemetery
600 West 23rd Ave
Mitchell, South Dakota 57301


Calvary Cemetery
600 West 23rd Ave
Mitchell, South Dakota 57301

Posted by Janet Fritz-Hornet on November 7, 2018
I grew up in Mitchell (ND class of 65) and spent a lot of time at the Collins house. Jerry and I were friends for a long time. His mom, Red, was always so welcoming and fun. Everyone loved her! I know my classmates agree - the entire Collins family was genuine and kind. God bless you all during this sad & difficult time - your mom was loved by many. Janet
Posted by Alice v Boulware on November 1, 2018
To Frans family . Your mom and I shared so many laughs over the years when our children were growing up together going to school together socializing together We would share stories our children would tell us and compare to see if we're were getting the samefacts
Posted by Vikki Boehnen Lansing Copley on November 1, 2018
Fran was also well known to the NDHS Class of ‘65 ( including Randy Jones) and we all called her “Red” (in deference to dyed red hair!) and the fact that we all loved her and her oldest son (Jerry) in our class. Red was a wonderful, caring and loving Mother and friend with the greatest sense of humor. She was strong, resilient and brave. I am so very sorry that I will not be able to attend her Memorial Service but she will live on in my memory and with a legacy of humor and strength. Special prayers for her family and friends. She will be missed. Peace and love, Fran.
Posted by Jim & Judy langdale on November 1, 2018
Wish we could have known her better! She appears to be person who would be a very special friend! Love & condolences to her friends & family.kari’s parents
Posted by Randy Jones on October 31, 2018
I grew up with the Collins family. Jerry Collins was my best friend. Fran raised 7 wonderful children under difficult circumstances.Fran will be missed. Randy Jones of the Jones boys!
Sign Frances Collins's Guestbook
Your Name