Don Collins, a former state legislator and the father of Maine Sen. Susan Collins, died Saturday evening at age 92.

Don Collins served five terms in the Maine House and Senate between 1970 and 1992, and for a time was mayor of the city of Caribou, where he was born in 1925.

According to News Center Maine (WCSH/WLBZ), Don Collins was the fourth generation of his family to operate S.W. Collins Co., a lumber and building products business, which he managed for four decades.

Collins was a World War II veteran who was wounded during the Battle of the Bulge and received two Purple Heart medals. He retired in 1992, and in his later years suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.

Former U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe and former Maine Gov. John McKernan issued a joint statement after hearing of Collins’ death.

“We have such fond memories of Don over the years and have been great admirers of his, as well, since our first days working with him during his terms in the Maine state Senate, where his selfless devotion, passionate commitment and dedication of service to his nation and state were abundantly evident,” the couple wrote. “Don and his wife, Pat, both former mayors of Caribou, were tremendously supportive of us throughout our careers, and we greatly valued their friendship. For the 70 years of their marriage they were truly an incredible trailblazing couple!”


Maine Sen. Angus King also issued a statement Sunday.

“Mary (Herman, his wife) and I are saddened by the passing of Don Collins,” King said. “Don represented the best of Maine: a dedicated public servant, a pillar of the business community and a loving husband and father. His contributions, in (Aroostook) County and across the state, will not be forgotten, and our prayers are with his family during this difficult time.”

Earlier this month, Don and Pat Collins received recognition on a nationally televised cable news show.

During a segment on political milestones, Chuck Todd, host of MSNBC’s “Meet the Press Daily,” displayed a photograph of the couple posing with their famous daughter and made note of the fact that they had been married for seven decades. The couple raised six children.

“They were married in 1948, before Alaska and Hawaii became states,” Todd said. “How about that kind of commitment? We think it’s something worth celebrating.”


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