James Robert Collins

July 17, 1936 ~ April 19, 2018 (age 81)
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With sadness, the Collins family announces the death of James Robert Collins due to complications from kidney disease, on Thursday, April 19, 2018, at the age of 81 years.

Jim was born in 1936 in Cleveland, Ohio to his parents Katherine and Emile, where he was also raised. He attended Kent State University and received a B.A. in Political Science in 1958 and a M.A. in Sociology in 1965. He served on active and reserve duty in the U.S. Coast Guard and received an honorable discharge in 1968.

He was married to Arnelle Ann Olson for over 50 years and had two sons, Christopher (1969) and Matthew (1971). He settled in the Akron area.

His early professional life included a variety of positions, including working for the Ohio Civil Rights Commission in Cleveland, Instructor of Sociology at the University of Akron, the Urban League in Cleveland, and the Area Agency on Aging in Akron.

He returned to school and received a Doctorate of Nursing degree from the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University in 1986. His nursing career including positions at the Cleveland Veterans Administration Medical Center, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, the American Red Cross of Akron, Fallsview State Hospital in Cuyahoga Falls, and ultimately the Ohio Department of Health in Akron, Ohio. He retired in 2001.

Jim enjoyed working on cars as a hobby, particularly Alfa Romeos. He was a fan of Cleveland area sports teams, especially the Indians and Browns.

Jim is survived by his beloved wife, Arnelle; his son Christopher (Barbara) Collins, granddaughter Katherine, and grandson Cameron, of Columbus, Ohio; and son Matthew of Akron, Ohio. He will be missed by his extended family.

Donations in Jim’s name may be made to The FPB Leaders Scholarship Fund at Case Western University ( or the National Kidney Foundation (


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