in memoriam

In Memory of John M. Collins

June 27, 1959 – April 26, 2024


John M. Collins, 64, of The Villages, Florida passed away peacefully on April 26th, 2024, surrounded by his wife and sons after a 37-month battle with a 9/11 related cancer.

John was born on June 27, 1959 in Staten Island, NY, to John J. Collins and the late Roseann (Hansen). He was a long-time resident of Clark/Rahway, New Jersey until relocating to The Villages, Florida in 2017.

John received a Bachelor’s Degree from St. John’s University, a Master’s Degree and an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Kean University.

John served 32 years in law enforcement. Originally beginning his career with the Port Authority of NY & NJ as a tour guide at the World Trade Center, he took the police test at the encouragement of his father, Retired Captain John J. Collins. In October 1984, John entered the Port Authority of NY & NJ Police Academy. John worked his way up through the ranks, and retired as Captain in January 2008, out of the Lincoln Tunnel. John basked in his retirement for a whole weekend before beginning his second career as the Police Chief at The College of New Jersey, a role he held with distinction for nine years.

Beyond his career, John was above all else a family man. His sons Christopher and Ryan were the greatest loves of his life. He loved spending time with them, whether it was at Boy Scouts, camping, vacationing, marching with them in the NYC St. Patrick’s Day parade, or just sitting around a campfire and sharing stories. He loved his “boys” and was extremely proud of the men they have become.

John and his wife Diane were together for 22 years. They shared a deep love and incredible friendship. John enjoyed nothing more than unwinding at the end of the day by sharing a cocktail with Diane. They shared countless adventures, that neither would have embarked on alone, and through it all they were happy as long as they were together.

John was a big foodie; a friend once dubbed him the “Zagat’s Guide for Cops”! He always found the best places to eat, and he knew all the little hole in the wall places off the beaten path in New York, New Jersey and then Florida.

John’s legacy is way bigger than any words we could bring together on this page. He was blessed to be surrounded by an incredible family and wonderful friends. He will never be forgotten.

John is survived by his loving wife, Diane (Gibbons), his sons Christopher (Jessica) and Ryan (Carla), his former wife Carol (Stanislawski), his father John, his brothers Tim (Cheryl) and David (Stephanie), his nephew Sean, his niece Meaghan, and the “Terrific Ten”.

Florida Celebration of Life
Wednesday May 8, 2024 – 2:00 – 5:00 pm
Hiers-Bailey Funeral Home
3975 Wedgewood Lane
The Villages, FL 32162

Staten Island Celebration of Life
Thursday, May 30, 2024 – 2:00 – 4:00 pm, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Colonial Funeral Home
2819 Hyman Boulevard
Staten Island, NY 10306

Funeral Mass
Friday, May 31, 2024 at 10:00AM
St. Ann's R.C. Church
101 Cromwell Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10304