Virgin Mary

Mary Ellen Collins

July 7, 1926 ~ November 20, 2021 (age 95)


     Mary Ellen Collins, 95, of Catlin, IL, left her family peacefully on Saturday, November 20, 2021, at OSF Sacred Heart Medical Center, Danville despite her courageous battle with COVID.
     She was born July 7, 1926, to Thomas and Mayme {Vacketta} Jenkins of Westville, IL.  Following her mother’s untimely death at age 36, Mary Ellen and little brother, Tom, went to live with her mother’s sister, Nina Battani.  
     Mary Ellen attended Westville High School and was active in cheerleading, on the Yearbook Staff, girl’s athletics, and earned academic honors during her years of attendance.  Following high school, she attended St. Elizabeth’s School of Nursing and was employed by the hospital until her marriage in November of 1948 to Fairmount resident, George S. Collins.
     Together, Mary Ellen and George owned and operated several eating establishments including the snack and soda counter at the Holland Inn, the Luxor Restaurant, and in more recent years, George’s Buffet then retired in 2000.  
     The couple were proud parents of three children.  She is survived by her son, George Thomas (Helene) Collins of Paris, France; and daughters, Mary Susan Collins (Mark Trompeter) of International Falls, MN, and Mona (Dr. Richard) Elghammer of Danville, IL; five grandchildren, Dean, Ellen, Laure, Pierre, & John; and a great granddaughter, Yasmine; as well as many of her Vacketta cousins.  She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, George, and her brother, Thomas Jenkins.
     After retiring, Mary Ellen spent the next 15 years volunteering in the schools her grandchildren, Dean & Ellen, attended.  She was lovingly known as ‘Mrs. Collins’ and was beloved by all the children that she helped through the years.  She was a member of the Catlin Historical Society.  Mary Ellen was a lifelong member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and a member of the Altar & Rosary Society.  
     Mary Ellen was truly a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, nurse, and business partner with George and will be remembered by all of her relatives in the Vacketta family, her cousins, Margerita Ruhrkraut and Nancy Fruin, sister-in-law, Norma Jenkins, her children’s friends and staff where she volunteered as reading coach for first grade students.  She will be dearly missed by all whose lives she touched.  May she forever rest in peace.
     A Private family graveside service will be held at Resurrection Cemetery, Danville.  Family entrusted arrangements to Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Westville, Illinois 414 S State St. Westville, Illinois 61883.   A memorial will be held at a later date.  Please join her family in sharing memories through her Tribute Wall at

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