Mary Lew Collins, 87, of Middlebury


MIDDLEBURY — Mary Lew Collins passed away peacefully on Sept. 13, 2023, at her home in Middlebury. Mary Lew was born Feb. 13, 1936, in Burlington, Vt., to Anthony and Bertha Cassano (Shank) who predeceased her along with her brother, Edwin Cassano of Lunenberg, Mass.

She married her high school sweetheart and love of her life, Robert “Bob” Collins on June 9, 1956, in Burlington, Vt. Mary Lew and Bob shared 53 wonderful years of marriage before Bob passed away in February of 2009. Mary Lew graduated from Burlington High School and attended the University of Vermont before starting her family. She was an avid golfer and also enjoyed dancing with Bob, as well as cooking and socializing with their many close friends. They traveled annually to see their children wherever they were living in the U.S.

In 1967, she was one of six employees who began the Counseling Service of Addison County in the basement of the municipal building in Middlebury. She was very proud of the growth the Counseling Service saw over her tenure, and she retired after 34 years of service in February of 2001. She worked a schedule that allowed her to be home both by the time her children arrived each day after school and in the summers.

After Bob’s passing, Mary Lew found companionship in longtime neighbor Ray Cassin. They shared 10 years as partners, and their second loves added much to their lives.

Mary Lew leaves behind three children, seven grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren, including: Jodi Collins of Weybridge, Vt., her daughter Chelsey Giuliani and husband David, and their children Lena, Cate and Joseph; her daughter Kenzie Bruch and her son Nick Bruch; Doug Collins and his wife Phyllis of Kirkland, Wash., his daughter Jennifer Brittingham and husband Ben, and their children Madison, Jaxon, Ellison and Cason; son Jason Collins and his wife Hope and their children Davis and Fischer; and Tim Collins and his wife Kate of Wilder, V., and their children Olivia and Lucas.

Mary Lew also leaves behind sister-in-law Nancy Hinsdale of Shelburne, Vt., and special nephews and niece Clark, Mindy and Michael Hinsdale.

Mary Lew will be laid to rest in the Weybridge Cemetery beside her husband Bob following a private burial. A celebration of life will be held Saturday, Sept. 23, from 3-5 p.m. at Middlebury College’s Kirk Alumni Center.

Mary Lew’s family would like to thank her caregivers from the bottom of our hearts for the compassionate, loving care they provided. Thank you Joanie, Sophia, Angela, Regina, Stephanie, Cheryl, Hannah, Akassa, and Kori.◊


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