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Arnelle A. (Olson) Collins

October 26, 1938 ~ September 11, 2022 (age 83)


It is with sadness that the Collins family announces the death of Arnelle Ann Collins. Our mother died  on September 11, 2022 at the age of 83.

Arnelle was born on October 26, 1938 to Florence (Gustafson) and Clarence Olson in Superior, Wisconsin where she was raised. She was an only child, but had a number of aunts, uncles, and cousins in the Superior/Duluth area who she was close to.

She received her Bachelor’s degree in English from Superior State (now University of Wisconsin – Superior) and her Master’s degree from Kent State University. 

At Kent she met James Robert Collins and was married to him for over 50 years, James preceded her in death in 2018. She gave birth to two sons, Christopher (1969) and Matthew (1971). They settled in the Akron area.

Arnelle was a teacher. She worked at both the University of Akron and Kent State University teaching English composition and had an impact on many students throughout her long career. After retiring from teaching she stayed active working part-time for Finast and Topps grocery store (now Giant Eagle) on West Market St. as a cashier. 

She loved reading, especially mysteries, and doing crosswords and other puzzles. Our mother had a fantastic sense of humor and an infectious laugh. Her sons also credit her for most of the profanity they learned early in life. Mom always had a colorful (and accurate) way of describing other drivers on the road. ;).

She would have found it equally hysterical and maddening that even in her couple (and last on earth) days in hospice the medical wrist tag they put on her still inaccurately stated she was allergic to codeine (she was not). She had been trying to get that off her medical record for 55 years. So I guess the old adage should actually be the only sure things in life are "death, taxes and erroneous pharmaceutical allergies." That would have made her laugh.

She made many sacrifices for her family including ensuring Christopher and Matthew had excellent educational opportunities, provided support for both throughout their lives. As her vision diminished due to macular degeneration in recent years, she became a fan of listening to books on tape and Hallmark Channel movies.

Arnelle is survived by son Christopher (Barbara) Collins, granddaughter Katherine, and grandson Cameron of Columbus, Ohio; and son Matthew of Akron, Ohio. She will be missed greatly.

Donations in Arnelle’s name may be made to Akron-Summit County Public Library endowment fund.

Please share your thoughts and condolences by visiting her Tribute Wall above.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Arnelle A. (Olson) Collins, please visit our floral store.

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A Memorial Tree was planted for Arnelle

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