Richard James Collins of Alexandria passed away after a brief illness on October 31, 2021.
Richard was born in South Boston, Massachusetts on January 27, 1959. Because he was born with multiple disabilities, he lived with his family until he was five, then spent 14 years living at Dever State School in Taunton Massachusetts. His life changed as a result of Congress passing the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (PL 94-142) in 1975. He left the institution and began living in community settings in Boston until his parents brought him to their retirement home in Bridgewater in the late 1990’s. It was then that he began a relationship with Lakes Region Community Services. LRCS helped him find the life he wanted and helped him through the transitions caused by the death of his parents.
Richard thrived on creating social connections with people he met, particularly when delivering the Penny Saver around Plymouth. He had special connections that brightened the day of those who knew him. He was blessed to be a Boston sports fan and could be seen in Red Sox and Patriots gear year- round.
He is survived by two brothers: James and his wife Kathie Gilmore of Fort Myers, FL and Brian and his wife Diane O’Hara of Canterbury NH, his nephew Kenneth and wife Debra and daughter Anna of Fort Myers, his niece Kerry and daughter Carrick of Fort Myers, his nephew Brendan, his wife Bijaya Sharma and their son Rowan of Charlestown MA, and his nephew Emmett of Canterbury.
He is also survived by his friend Betty Loos and roommate Peter Gray of Alexandria NH. Betty’s love and care for Richard brought him his greatest peace in life. Words alone cannot describe the nature of their relationship as Richard found happiness living in her home among her family and friends. The Collins family will forever be grateful for all her attention to his needs and to those in her circle who opened their homes and gave him friendship.
Due to Covid restrictions, the family has chosen a private burial at the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen NH where Richard will be buried with his parents.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for support of Lakes Region Community Services, 719 N. Main St, Laconia NH, 03246 or www.lrcs.com
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