"The measure of a life is not its duration but its donation." Corrie Ten Boom
Richard Collier's "donations" to this world were indeed extraordinary, right up until the moment of his passing on Friday, October 10 at the age of 81. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother-in-law, uncle and friend, as well as a gifted healer in his lifelong profession and passion as a physician. Richard was born December 13, 1932 in Toledo, Ohio to Samuel and Ruth Collier. After completing high school, he attended college at the University of Toledo. It was there he met Beverly Ann Alldredge, and where on a rainy walk home from school one day he convinced her to accept a ride. They married on June 17, 1955, and for 58 years Richard and Beverly shared a deep love of family and medicine. Together, they attended Ohio State University's Medical School, and went on to complete their residencies at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. During that time, Richard was invited to lead and teach at MSU's College of Medicine. While he loved the campus and community, he instead chose to follow his true passion of becoming a great surgeon, while also working side by side with Beverly as she practiced Anesthesia. They moved to Okemos in 1967 and started Collier Surgical Associates, where they worked together until Richard retired in 1990.
Richard lost the love of his life in 2013, when Beverly passed away after a lengthy illness. He forever remains a beloved father to Steven (Rachelle) Collier of East Lansing, Pamela Collier (Kenneth) Jodway of East Lansing and Kevin (Jana) Collier of Palm Harbor, Florida; adored grandfather of Emily and Allison (Ken and Pam Jodway) and Savannah and Cooper (Kevin and Jana Collier). He also showed a special kindness to son Steven's step-family including Presence (Michael) Bissonette, Becky (Doug) David, Evan and DJ. Richard is also survived by Beverly's brothers and sister, Melvin (Barbara) Alldredge, Craig (Arlene) Alldredge, Shirley (Joseph) Gerdenich, as well as several nieces and nephews.
Richard loved life beyond measure. His love of his family was abundant, and there was no obstacle large enough to block his path to providing and protecting them with his life. He loved Beverly with all his heart, and never left her side during her years of illness. The formula for their long and blissful marriage was said to be Beverly's willingness to let Richard pursue his love of golf as much as he could, leaving her time to sneak in a good book. As a father, Richard wore his heart on his sleeve, and provided endless support and encouragement in whatever endeavors Steve, Pam and Kevin chose to pursue. He was always there at a moment's notice…to remove a splinter or bandage a scrape, wipe away tears, tweak a golf swing, toss a softball, provide counsel or just remind them how much they were loved. As a grandfather, he cherished his time with Emily, Allison, Savannah and Cooper, creating special adventures with each of them every chance he got. As a surgeon, his hands were his instruments, and he was gifted. There was rarely a day in his retirement when he was not approached by a former patient or patient's family member, thanking him for saving their life. Richard called many people friends, and enjoyed striking up a conversation with anyone he encountered. Special thanks to good friends Phyllis and Steve Kelbert, Blake Ashdown, the Williamston McDonalds staff and men's breakfast club, Dr. Alan Neiberg, Dr. Joel Cohn and Dr. Ranjan Thakur for their steadfast care and friendship, and the Sparrow Health System medical staff who did their best to treat Dr. Collier with comfort and respect.
Richard's fondest times were those that included his family; annual trips to Florida and Walt Disney World, Christmas gatherings, birthday celebrations, Fourth of July fireworks in the backyard, Labor Day barbeques, golf and fishing outings, catching a Spartan basketball game, watching his grandchildren's sporting activities, or just gathering together to share in the joy of each other's company. All of these represent an extraordinary man's love of a simply ordinary life.
For those desiring, contributions may be made to Trinity Church, or The First Tee of Mid-Michigan.