Michael D. Collins

M. Collins PictureMike Collins, 59, from Alamosa, Colorado, died in a snowmobile accident on February 27, 2016 in the Snowy Range, just West of Laramie, Wyoming. He will be remembered as a loving husband, father, son, brother, uncle, and dear friend.

Mike was born November 10, 1956 in Detroit, Michigan, to Lois E. and William R. Collins. He grew up in the Livonia, Michigan area and graduated from Churchill High School in 1974. After high school Mike went to college for one year at School Craft College and then transferred to the University of Wyoming where he received two Bachelors Degrees in Soils and Ag. Mech. in 1980 and 1981.

Mike stayed in Laramie where he later met his wife Stacy on December 31, 1985. They were married on January 17, 1987 in Laramie, Wyoming.

Mike worked for Northern Gas Company while in Laramie. He then went on to work for 29 years for the (U.S.D.A) Natural Resources Conservation Service where he thoroughly enjoyed his time as a Soil Scientist and Soil Conservationist.

Mike and Stacy first moved to Chanute A.F.B., Illinois where Stacy was stationed, and then transferred to Kirtland A.F.B. in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This is where Mike took his first job with the U.S.D.A. (and where Dustin was born). The family lived in the following places: Wheatland, Wyoming, (Michelle was born in Laramie); Afton, Wyoming; Gillette, Wyoming; Jamestown, North Dakota; and Alamosa, Colorado.

Mike was preceded in death by his mother Lois Thompson Collins. He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Stacy Stapp Collins; son, Dustin Collins of Cody, Wyoming; daughter, Michelle Collins of Laramie, Wyoming; Father, William Collins of Livonia, Michigan; brother Gary Collins (Linda) from Bend, Oregon; Sister Linda Reid (Robert) of Livonia, Michigan; Sister Janice Collins (Fred) from Temperance, Michigan; and numerous Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Nieces, and Nephews.

A funeral will take place on March 2, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. in Laramie, Wyoming at Montgomery-Stryker Funeral Home for family and friends. A memorial will take place in Alamosa, Colorado at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on April 2, 2016.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Soil and Water Conservation Society. This organization can be contacted at 945 SW Ankeny Rd, Ankeny, IA 50023 or by calling 515-289-2331 ext. 118. Donations can also be made on-line at www.swcs.org/Donate/ in Honor of Michael Collins.

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Condolences (52)

  • John lestina

    My dear friend Mike, your passing has left a hole in our lives, I already miss our near daily conversations. Thank you for your boundless energy and great heart. Until we meet again, I will miss you.

  • Dobe

    Micheal will be missed by all.. especially his family and my heart goes out to them.. his smile, good nature, and energy was infectious.. the world is a lesser place RIP my friend

  • Gary Collins

    The world has become a poorer place without you. You were one of the few people on this planet that made everyone around you better. What a gift! Words fail to communicate the joy to have you as a brother. You have been and still are a model for those of us that knew you. God Bless Mike Collins and his family.

  • Tom Prout

    Dear Collins Family My sincere condolences. I met Mike as Board members of SWCS. I always enjoyed talking to Mike and discussing soil and water conservation efforts across North America. He will be missed by many people across North America.

  • Gary & Tammy Kramer

    Our hearts go out to you during this difficult time. I will always remember Mike's good hearted laugh. Always happy and always made me smile. We will certainly miss him. God bless you all. Gary and Tammy

  • Phil Gonzales

    Mike, a very professional individual, smart, mentor, and teacher. Mike brought out the best in all, left an every lasting foot print on this earth by sharing his knowledge and desires to see the land better for the next generations. Mikes’ videos will be our lasting memories of how he wanted to share and exchange great times. The good Lord called Mike, lets us pray for the strength to lead our lives as Mike had, so we can be with him when our time is called

  • J.R. Flores

    Mike, You will be missed. Thank you for your positive outlook on life and inspiring me to be better. Take care until we meet again.

  • Brent & Linda Osborne

    So sorry to hear of Michaels accident. Our hearts and prayers reach out to the entire family. God Bless and Keep you.

  • Stephanie Murphy

    Mike, you will be sorely missed. Soil conservation/health work will continue on, and we will be motivated by memories of your enthusiasm and skillful sharing of knowledge and experiences. Yet no one can replace your presence. To Mike's family, I can only hope that the sorrow shared by his friends and colleagues across the country and beyond can somehow ease the pain of your loss.

  • Terry Everard

    Mike had a passion for his job, taking care of the land, and especially his desire to help his coworkers. What a great example on how to live your life as a worker, a friend and mostly a family man. I wish more people were like you. I will miss you friend.

  • Brian Allmer

    I had the opportunity to interview Mike numerous times by telephone and to also visit with him in person at numerous events as well. I will always remember his graciousness and his upbeat and cheerful personality.Mike was someone that we all tried to aspire to be like. Mike was a friend to agriculture industry and he will be missed greatly by all that knew him...

  • Gen Cotherman

    Stacy, I'm so sorry to hear of Michael's passing! I know it's been a long time since we've seen each other, but I have thought of you often over the years. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

  • Bill Elder

    My deepest condolences to your family, Mike. I was both stunned and saddened when I heard of your passing. Your spark and enthusiasm will be missed. May god bless you!

  • Scott Smith

    So Sorry to here about Mike. Great man of conservation and it has been a pleasure to work with him. He will be sorely missed throughout the NRCS community.

  • Boyd Byelich

    Mike was one of the first people I met when I moved to Cheyenne in 1995. We met at the hockey rink in Laramie right before Christmas. I sat down next to him on the bench and he struck up a conversation w me. That's when we found out we both worked for NRCS. I had the pleasure of working w Mike in WY and recently in CO. He was a great proponent of soil quality and people quality - helping to 'grow' others in the agency thru mentoring and encouraging them to 'stretch' and become more. You are missed, my friend.

  • Ordean and Lisa anderson

    We were so so sad to hear about "beaver". A special man we knew long ago. Our thoughts and prayers to the family.

  • William Collins

    Mike will be missed by me greatly. He did a lot for me all the time and I am thankful for all the time with him. My thoughts and prayers are with Stacy, Dustin and Michelle. You are so loved by our family.

  • Janice Collins

    My heart breaks oh so much. I remember when we were kids and you use to hit your rear end during the Christmas song rump bum bum. I will miss the conversations, the times at Cedar Point. Everything about you was true joy! Thanks for teaching me how to drive, ski and you were the best brother ever. Life will not be the same without you! Will see you in heaven Michael boats. Janice Collins

  • Linda Reid

    Brothers are so special In a really unique way, You form an unbreakable bond No matter what comes your way Brothers have a special way Of making you feel at rest And to have you as a brother, I know I am blessed. Mike you always helped me with graduations, weddings and always helping with Dad. You made everyone a better person. I did not like you call me "Cheetah", but I wish I could hear you call me that today. I know you are in heaven with Mom. She always liked you best! Love, Prayers, Hugs to Stacy,Dustin and Michelle. Stacy excellent mother, wife. She could be CEO. Michael was so proud of Dustin and Michelle and the great persons they will be. Miss you always,and loved being in your presence.

  • Phil,Toni, Jenni, and Doug Hayes

    I knew Mike primarily from snowmobiling with mutual friends. He was a very good rider and I learned a lot from him over the years. Mike was always patient and helpful with those who rode with him including myself and my children (Jenni and Doug). He remained calm when faced with stuck machines, collisions between snowmobiles, and malfunctioning engines (which he usually got running). Jenni, Doug and I always felt privileged to be invited to ride with him when he came to the Snowies. He was a gracious man and friend, I will miss him greatly

  • Sophia Beck

    Hi Stacy, Dustin and Michelle, I am sooo sorry about the news. I will keep you in my prayers and angel hugs.

  • Gail O'Neill(Cude)

    Gone to soon, but not forgotten. Remember, Mike will live on forever in your heart!! The entire Collins family is in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Yvonne Haefner

    Mike has touched many lives and will be missed by all. Remembering the times in SWCS when Mike was filming. Once he had us all in the cattle shoot to promote SWCS. He had the ideas, the energy and was very dedicated to preserving soil and his and our environment. Rip Mike, Rest in Peace. Sympathy and prayer's to Mike's family.

  • Stan, Leslie and Wyatt Sheley

    Stacey, Dustin, and Michelle, We are so sorry for your loss. Mike was a great man and he will be missed by all. You will remain in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Jon Stika

    I have known Mike for many years through the Soil and Water Conservation Society and Natural Resources Conservation Service. Mike was a tireless promoter, educator and spokesperson in the world of natural resource conservation. He made a positive difference in the lives and livelihoods of countless farmers, ranchers and professional conservationists, including myself. I will miss him and his contributions to the soil health movement. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

  • Cody J. Hatzenbuhler

    It's certainly is a loss for the resources as well as a GOOD friend. Will see you in April Cody J. Hatzenbuhler USDA-NRCS http://www.ndswcs.org/mikecollins.htm

  • Carol Reece

    Thanks for including us at Wednesday's service. Prayers for strength, endurance, and peace as you daily think about Mike and are encouraged by his life and love for you!

  • Scott Hammes

    Im sorry I am unable to be there in support of your family. My sincere condolences to all of you in the time of your loss. Sincerely, Scott Hammes (friend of Deb Hart)

  • Greg Pipkin

    My heart and my prayers go out to all of Mike's family. I too am deeply saddened to hear of Mike’s passing. I met Mike last year during the leadership program the NRCS was giving. We immediately hit it off when we discovered we both have a passion for riding dirt bikes. We talked many times of getting together to go riding and kept in touch after the leadership program ended. I was able to see him at the SWCS meeting in Greensboro last August. I know he loved to ride dirt bikes and snow mobiles and he was doing what he loved to do. Mike you will be missed my friend.

  • Jack Holt

    I am completely shocked after only minutes ago reading the Bismarck Tribune obituaries. I thought Oh that has to be a different Mike Collins until I read further. I am so sorry and am having a hard time knowing what to say. If only I knew sooner I would have made the trip today. I will be letting my family know today with much sadness. I only have Mikes email and phone. I would like to hear from someone when the time feels right. Mike was a great guy and hockey friend. We enjoyed his visits here and his enthusiasm.

  • Richard Bruce

    So sad to hear about Mike's passing. I knew Mike when he started working for the NRCS in Santa Fe, NM. We commuted to Santa Fe from Albuquerque for many years, and I had the privilege of training Mike in basic surveying, design, and conservation planning. He loved to rebuild wrecked cars and he was good at that, too. I will miss Mike's smile and laugh. My condolences go to Stacy and the family. He will truly be missed. Rest in Peace, Mike!

  • Penny Doty

    Collins Family, My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time of loss. I so enjoyed working with Mike and especially attending SWCS functions and conferences with him. He will be greatly missed. Penny

  • Jim Micko

    Stacy, Dustin and Michelle.. Words seem inadequate to express the sorrow for your loss, but know that our family holds yours in our thoughts and prayers today and in the days ahead. Jim Micko & family

  • Ray & Tina Wulf

    Dear Stacy, Dustin and Michelle: Words cannot express our sorrow upon hearing about Mike's accident. Crazy how we were all together not too long ago celebrating Kelsey's marriage and now this. Another of God's reminders of just how fragile life is. We are sending you our love and we will hold you close as you grieve. May God's spirit give you the strength and courage to deal with tough days ahead. Peace, Ray and Tina Wulf

  • Carrie Acree

    Stacy, I am so sorry to hear about your husband. My heart is with you in this time. You are in my prayers. Carrie (LTC Acree from DCE Region VIII)

  • Duane Adams

    Stacy, those were all Great stories at the service today! I am glad that you did such a beautiful job when you spoke... Duane

  • Brady Kelly

    How heavy and sad your hearts and spirits must be. Over time as the shock of these first months moves on, you will start to dwell more and more on the good memories of Mike and that will start to heal your soul. Mike was my supervisor and I respected him a lot because he respected his employees. It was a joy to know him and we will all see him again when our time comes. May God provide the peace that you need in the days to come.


    My heart goes out to Mike's family and friends. Mike was one of my first undergraduate advisees when I came to UW in 1981 and I followed his career over the years with great interest and pleasure in his achievments and our friendship. I used Mike always as an example to other students as someone who was not afraid to move to new challenges and responsibilities in his career. A highlight was having him guest lecture in my Intro Soils class the year his daughter Michelle was in the class. He loved his family, his career in conservation and any machine with a motor. I will miss his regular emails and phone calls greatly.

  • Maureen Wakenell

    Our heartfelt sympathies to the Collins family. Mike sounds like he was truly a wonderful man! (Our son Chris is engaged to his niece, Meghan Reid.) God bless all of you. The Wakenell Family

  • Renee

    Stacy and your entire family words can not express the sorrow for your loss You are in my thoughts. I know Stacy you have the love and support of your family and are an amazingly strong women. may the great happy memories carry you through the rough days ahead. You will perciver you are strong

  • Myron Wakkuri

    Mike's positive attitude and enthusiasm for life was the greatest. His greeting to everyone with a big smile was the best. His contribution to natural resource conservation will be remembered and missed.

  • Becky Gerlach

    It has been many years since I have seen Mike and Stacy. I am so sorry for your loss of your husband and father. Mike was a person well remembered for his dedication to his family, his commitment to agriculture and conservation, and his wonderful smile to all who knew him. I know this world is missing an amazing bit of sunshine. My thoughts are with you.

  • Stacy Collins

    Right now I'm trying to learn how to breathe without you. Eventually I'll have to relearn how to do every task of living without you. I promise you I will try to live life as you did by making the most of every moment until I see you again my love.

  • Alan Coldwell

    Prayers to all.

  • Charlie Briggs

    Stacy and family, Words are difficult to find at this time. You all in our thoughts. Having life without Michael will be hard. I am grateful for the times that we all enjoyed in Big Sky. He was a truly genuine and wonderful person. Our condolences to you all - Charlie and Jerry

  • Nick and Courtney Reid

    Uncle Mike was more than an uncle, he was your friend, your buddy. Whenever we would get together you knew you were going to have fun and share a lot of laughter. His personality and demeanor were contagious to be around. You wanted to be around and involved in whatever activity that was on the agenda for that day. You knew you would have a great time due to Uncle Mike. He loved to wear short shorts and his mustache was a personality all its own at times. He was athletic and had a great sense of humor and an incredible work ethic. He was good at hockey but in his humble ways "not great." He was proficient in so many activities and all of them usually revolved around the outdoors. He gave the best hugs. His "motor", his energy was unending. He was caring. He was hilarious. He was a great husband and father. He leaves behind my Aunt Stacy and my cousins, his children Dustin and Michelle. This has been so hard on all of us and infinitely as difficult on them. Yet I do not worry about Aunt Stacy and Dustin and Michelle. They are tremendous people and will get through this. Their strength and courage will carry them through this time of sadness. Uncle Mike, I love you. Nick and Courtney Reid and our daughter Hannah

  • Fred Schierloh

    Michael, why do we have to go through things like this? It is going to be so difficult not doing things together. You were Ike my second brother...I always felt so close to you. My thoughts are with you, Stacey, and Dustin and Michelle. Be strong and do the best you can.

  • Mary Jean Penner

    Dear Stacy, Dustin, and Michelle, I am soooo sorry for you!!! In losing Mike, you have lost someone that no one can ever replace or even come close to, in your hearts and lives. What a high energy, funny, smart, helpful, smiling, kind, good, talented, fun loving, friendly, hardworking BLESSING he was! Let all those who loved Mike and love you, help you to keep going until you are all together again. All my love and prayers, Mary Jean

  • Darlene Diede

    Dear Stacy and family, I am so sorry for your loss. We are praying for you daily. May God give you strength, endurance, and comfort for the journey ahead. "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1

  • Margaret M Zakrzewski

    My family has not seen Micheal since his teenage years, we all enjoyed his humor, laughter and smile. His picture along with other family members still hangs on our cottage wall in caseville. My family sends it's deepest sympathies to his family. You are in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time..

  • Craig & Karin Zaleski

    Michael and I enjoyed a special relationship our entire lives. I was blessed that he was in my life, and I loved him like a brother. We were born six days apart in 1956. With the help of our loving parents, we literally grew up together. Michael and I enjoyed many great times in Caseville MI at the cottage, swimming, fishing, and water skiing on Saginaw bay. We remained close throughout the years, even with many miles between us. I will always treasure the times we spent together on the ranch, and our yearly get together in Ludington MI. Words cannot express how much I will miss Michael, but I am blessed with countless memories that I will forever treasure. Stacy, Dustin and Michelle, you will remain in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Stephanie (Reid) Sen

    My uncle was the life of the party who always had fun regardless where he was, what he was doing, or who he was with. When Grandma Collins died, he sat down and played The Barbie board game with my sister and I in the funeral home, helping make a tough situation easier on Meg and I. We were experiencing our first close family member dying and he replaced our fear and tears with hope and laughter. As we go through the loss of my Uncle Mike, I know we can find hope and laughter in the way he lived. He lived his life with an energy no one can explain or replicate but we can try. Everyday I will pray and try to live more like Uncle Mike, with a passion for love and life. "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Maya Angelou


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