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Mary W. Collins

Mary Willie Thompson Collins,77, a self-taught Minister of Music, Clergy Spouse of the late Rev. Marshall Collins and local business owner of Nature Gems answered the eternal call of her Lord and Savior on Monday, September 13, 2021, at MediLodge of Grand Traverse County.

The daughter of Morris Thompson Sr. and Elizabeth (Ross) Thompson was born on October 7, 1943, in Dorchester County, Maryland.  She was later raised by her father and stepmother, Charlotte Simmons Thompson.  She attended Phyllis Wheatley High School.

“May Willie” as she was affectionally called as a child, gave her life to the Lord at an early age and had a love for singing gospel.  She had a God-given gift to play the piano by ear.  She would go on to sing and play the piano in various churches throughout the United States and Canada.  She had a beautiful and resounding voice.

Mary and her husband made Northport, MI, their home after many years of traveling there for their ministry, migrant work, and a business creating beautiful stonework.  Mary was a faithful clergy wife and member of the Northport Indian Mission Church-UMC and was recognized as a Valiant Woman.

Mary is survived by her children, Rose Marie Whittaker, Herbert Lee (Shari) Whittaker, Daron Whittaker, Yolanda Maria (Curtis) Fluellen, Crystal Marshalle Collins, Marshall Rosevelt (Tricia) Collins Jr.; a daughter-in-law, Kim Whittaker; four sisters, Pearl Ross- Coleman, Queen Thompson-Brewington, Holy M. Thompson-Ricketts, all of Hurlock MD, and Julia Thompson-Farrow of Cambridge MD; three brothers, Morris Thompson (Kelly) of Federalsburg, MD, Semuel Thompson Sr. (Tina) of Vienna, MD, and Michael Thompson Sr. (Darlene) of Seaford, Delaware; and sister-in-law, Elaine Ross of Baltimore MD; 47 grandchildren and many loving great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, the Rev. Marshall R. Collins Sr.; mother, Elizabeth Ross; father, Morris Thompson Sr.; stepmother, Charlotte Thompson Hurst; brothers, James Ross, Moses Ross, Edward Ross, Louis Thompson; sister, Elizabeth (Sis) Ross- Finney; and children, Felicia Whittaker and Hurbert Whittaker.

Visitation will be held on Sunday, October 3, 2021, from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM at Northport Indian UMC Campground, Camp Haven Road, Northport, MI 49670 followed by a memorial service from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM.  Procession to and burial at Leelanau Township Cemetery will follow the service.

Memorials may be directed to the Collins Family, 5393 Ravenhurst Drive, Traverse City, MI 49685.

Please share condolences with Mary’s family at www.martinson.info.
Arrangements are with the Martinson Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Leelanau.