Wednesday, October 21, 2009

In Memoriam: Harry Collins, 1921 - 2009

My hometown, McDonald, PA, lost another one of its great old-timers Saturday: Harry Collins, age 88.

Harry was the subject of an early post of this blog in August, 2006, when the new tennis courts in McDonald’s Heritage Park were named in his honor:

“At our borough council meeting Monday evening, council voted unanimously to name the courts after Harry Collins, a life-long resident of Fourth Street and someone I've known for many years as a fellow parishioner at St. Alphonsus Church. Harry, a World War II veteran, was McDonald's postmaster for 28 years and helped to establish Heritage Park. But, that wasn't the only good reason to name the courts after Harry -- he once promoted tennis programs in the borough and is every bit the fitness enthusiast. Up until a few years ago, he was a common sight biking on the local roads.

“In addition to naming the courts after him, McDonald Mayor Jim Frazier and Borough Council also named Tuesday, August 8, as "Harry Collins Day" in the borough.” (Jim and Harry are pictured above.)

I distinctly remember a Sunday morning Mass a few years back at St. Alphonsus when Harry spoke up. He had asked our pastor, Father John Harvey, to say “Good Morning” at the beginning of each Mass (in addition to the mandatory prayers of greeting). At this particular Mass, Father Harvey did not do so.

Later in the Mass, just after Father Harvey finished reading the Gospel but before he began his homily, Harry called out, “Good Morning, Father!”

That’s the kind of good man Harry was. He’ll be missed.

From the prayers at the end of the funeral Mass:


May the angels lead you into paradise,
may the martyrs come to welcome you,
and take you to the holy city,
the new and eternal Jerusalem.

No comments: