James V. Collins, 83, who once held the second-highest position in the Buffalo Post Office, died Friday (Dec. 26, 1997) in the Hospice unit of Handmaker's Nursing Home, Tucson, Ariz.
Collins was assistant postmaster of Buffalo from 1964 to 1969, and his career with the postal service here spanned 32 years.
A native of Buffalo, Collins was a graduate of the former St. Matthew's School on the city's East Side.
He attended Seneca Vocational High School and worked as a truck driver delivering parcels for the old E.W. Edwards Department Store for five years before joining the postal service as a substitute mail carrier in 1937.
Collins became a regular mail carrier in 1941, holding that position until he went into the Army infantry in 1942. He served in Europe until 1946, achieving the rank of major, and then became a lieutenant colonel in the New York National Guard.
After the war, Collins resumed his postal career, working as a clerk in charge at the old Downtown Post Office from 1946 to 1948, when he was promoted to general foreman.
Two years later, he became an assistant superintendent of mails. In 1952, he was named senior assistant superintendent of mails.
He was promoted to superintendent of delivery and collections in 1955 and held that position until 1961, when he was named general superintendent.
He was appointed assistant postmaster in 1964. He remained in the position until he retired in 1969.
A Western New York resident for most of his life, Collins grew up on Buffalo's East Side and also lived in South Buffalo and Orchard Park before moving to Tucson 10 years ago.
He was a member of the Pvt. Leonard Post Jr. Post 6251, Veterans of Foreign Wars, in Cheektowaga and the Blackthorn Club in Buffalo. He also was a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks in Tucson and the Saguaro Men's Golf Club there.
His first wife, Eleanor Dunnigan Collins, died in 1976. His second wife, Mary Rosser Collins, died in the mid-1980s.
Surviving are two daughters, Sharon Snyder of Vail, Ariz., and Patricia Joyce of Tucson; a son, Michael K.; three sisters, Marion Kubanet, Virginia Girard and Ann Weir; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
A memorial Mass was offered Monday in St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, Tucson.
Another memorial Mass will be offered at 11 a.m. Jan. 10 in Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church, South Buffalo Street and Thorn Avenue, Orchard Park.