Obituary of Thomas W. Collins
Thomas Weltin Collins passed away peacefully on June 25, 2020. Born August 26, 1923 to Thomas J. Collins and Louise Weltin Collins, Tom grew up in Norwich, CT, attending Norwich schools and graduating from Norwich Free Academy in 1941. Along with the rest of the Greatest Generation, he joined the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of Sergeant and serving in the Pacific Theater, landing on many islands including Okinawa, and ending in Japan immediately after the war ended. He went on to graduate from Wesleyan University in 1952 and the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1955. Tom practiced law with Ralph Kilburn for 22 years in Hartford before maintaining a solo practice in Wethersfield for 8 years. He then joined the firm of Blume, Elbaum, Collins & Kelly in West Hartford for about 10 years. Following a brief retirement in 1999, Tom was associated with his son’s firm, Collins & Deans in Glastonbury, still practicing law, which he loved so much, well into his 90’s. He was extremely proud of the fact that, so far, both of his children, his daughter-in-law, one of his granddaughters and his granddaughter-in-law have become attorneys. Tom was a 30 year member of the Board of Directors of the Open Hearth Mission, serving 5 terms as President. He was a member of the American College of Probate Counsel, the Estate and Business Planning Council, Swift’s Inn, and the Wethersfield United Methodist Church. One of his proudest accomplishments, and his lifelong passion, was becoming a third degree Black Belt in Goju Karate, as a member of the Hartford Karate Club. He taught for over 20 years as a member of the University of Hartford adjunct faculty and conducted seminars in estate taxation and probate law at the UConn Law School. Besides karate, Tom enjoyed traveling extensively, reading, conquering complicated puzzles, and almost daily gym workouts. Tom was still amazing his friends by doing complete splits well into his 80’s. Tom married the love of his life, Mary Ellen Welburn of West Hartford in 1954 and they had 65 wonderful years together until she predeceased him 14 months earlier. They lived in Wethersfield for 40 years before moving to Riverpoint in East Hartford. While in Wethersfield, Tom served on the Town Council and was chairman of the Board of Tax Review for a number of years. He was a member, and served as President of the Wethersfield Civitan Club. Tom leaves two children and their spouses, of whom he was very proud. Atty. Linda Ruth Collins Burpee and her husband David Burpee of Somers, NY, and Paul Welburn Collins and his wife, Michelle Collins of Glastonbury. He also leaves six adored grandchildren, Christopher Burpee and his wife Lacy of Skokie, IL, Sarah Burpee and Kendra Burpee of New York, NY, Scott Collins and his wife, Mariel Collins of Sudbury, MA, Eliza Collins of Middletown and Abby Collins of Philadelphia. He also leaves two great grandchildren. There are no calling hours and a future memorial service and burial will be at the convenience of the family.