NORMAL — Michael Eugene Collins, 22, of Normal, passed away at 9:05 p.m. Wednesday (April 2, 2014) at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center, Normal.
His funeral will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Eastview Christian Church, Normal, with the Rev. Mike Baker officiating. Burial will be in Gridley Cemetery, Gridley. Visitation will be from 3 to 8 p.m. Monday at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Michael Collins Foundation to fund and support various activities important to Michael and his family, including an endowed baseball scholarship for Heartland Community College; Mothers Against Drunk Driving, MADD; Eastview Christian Church; Fellowship of Christian Athletes, FCA; and various other ministries.
Gifts can be deposited at any Heartland Bank location or mailed to Heartland Bank, PO Box 67, Bloomington, IL 61702. Carmody-Flynn Williamsburg Funeral Home, Bloomington, is assisting the family with services.
Michael was born on May 20, 1991, in Normal, the son of James Robert and Kelly Ann Presley Collins.
He is survived by his parents, Jim and Kelly Collins, Normal; one brother, Jimmy Collins, Bloomington; maternal grandmother, Betty A. Presley, Normal; paternal grandfather, James L. Collins, Towanda; one maternal uncle, Terry (Sandy) Presley; two paternal aunts, Susan Albee and Sharon (Kevin) Rutledge; and a paternal uncle, Jeff (Jane) Collins.
He is also survived by many beloved cousins, including Eric (Alycia) Stark, Adam (Kacy) Stark, Sara Stark, Katie (Austin) Myers, Kyle Rutledge, Tristin (Ken) Duffy, Carter Collins, Samantha Collins, Brian Wright, Christina (Mark) Frederick and Sarah (Nick) Riordan, Jon Albee, Josh Albee, Joanna Willet and Jason Albee.
His maternal grandfather, Donald E. Presley, and a paternal grandmother, Lois E. Collins, preceded him in death.
Michael was a senior exercise science major at Illinois State University and a 2010 graduate of Normal Community West High School. He played baseball for two seasons at Heartland Community College and was an assistant baseball coach at University High School under his father, Jim.
His baseball accomplishments included playing second base for Heartland Community College when the Hawks finished third in the NJCAA World Series in 2012 and being named an Academic All-American in 2012.
He was a member of the first Heartland team to advance to the NJCAA World Series in 2011. He was a middle infielder and pitcher for Normal West when they won back-to-back Big 12 championships in 2009 and 2010. He was selected to the Illinois Coaches Association and Pantagraph All-Star games in 2010. He was a member of the Big 12 All-Academic team in 2010.
His favorite baseball memories included winning two consecutive Region 24 championships at Heartland; hitting a home run in the NJCAA World Series; and receiving a phone call from his mom after his dad won a 2012 state championship at U High.
He enjoyed golfing, working out, watching episodes of "Seinfeld" and spending time with his two dogs.
Michael was passionate about many things but the greatest joy he brought his family was his faith in God and his relationship with the Lord. His favorite scripture was Philippians 4:13, “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
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