Beverly J. Collins

PORTLAND – Beverly J. Collins RN-C, 83, of Standish and Cape Elizabeth, beloved mother, grandmother, nurse and friend to many, passed away after a tragic and unfair bout of coronavirus, on April 1, 2020.Beverly is predeceased by her father and mother Orlando and Ruth V. Pesce formerly of Westbrook. Her husband of 55 years, John F Collins passed in 2003.She is survived by her brother, Steve Pesce and his wife Cathy of Westbrook. She leaves behind her children, Paul of Cape Elizabeth; John Jr. and his wife Kathryn and their children, Elizabeth and Erin of South Portland; Timothy, his daughters, Ashleigh Algiere and her husband, Nicholas of Andover Mass. and Alyssa of Derry, N.H.; Robert and his children, Cameron of New Gloucester, Abby and Sean of Cape Elizabeth, and William and his husband, Jason Palmer of South Portland.Beverly was a graduate of Westbrook High School and the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing. Nursing was Bev’s long-term career choice and worked as a nurse for Mercy Hospital. She worked the third shift for many years, walking to work from her growing family’s first apartment on Cushman Street in Portland. She loved being a nurse and left Mercy to work for Dr. Donald McCrann in private practice for many years before retiring in 1998. Even after retiring she continued to volunteer at Maine Medical Center.Grammie or Nana (and occasionally Nanagram) as she is called by her grandchildren loved them all deeply and as much as anything in her world. She lived for visits from the grand kids.From April through late October Mom could be found at her beloved slice of heaven on Sebago Lake with her beloved cat, Lily (whose favorite perch was on Bev’s morning newspaper as she tried to do the crossword puzzle). This was mom’s most precious happy spot. It gave her great joy tending and watering her flower boxes and multiple flower beds and just taking in the view.She enjoyed cooking and it gave her joy to be making a cake or her awesome chocolate chip cookies or her most desirable and most favored whoopie pies in anticipation of company for holidays, or as bait for the weekend duties. Weekends when family would gather in the hot summer sun as Paul or Chip worked the grill to cook way too much food. She loved to be surrounded by her family and friends, old and new alike and welcomed all as her own.Over the years family has had the privilege to meet many of Mom’s friends, coworkers and acquaintances, and to a person they have expressed and enthused over what a wonderful caring human being Bev was. In fact, it was almost impossible to go out with her and not run into someone she knew.For many years after her retirement she would winter at Horseshoe Cove in Bradenton, Fla. Like everywhere she went, she made many friends there. Her infectious smile, quick wit, and sweet personality made it hard to resist being her friend. She loved the golf cart parades, taco Tuesday and the Red Hatters. Bev was also a survivor battling cancer beginning in 1984 with a bout of thyroid cancer to breast cancer both of which she fought and won, barely slowing down through her treatments.She still met with her friends from Westbrook High there for a monthly lunch. She touched so many hearts in such a meaningful way, that she will always be with us.Lastly an important thank you to the staff at Mercy Hospital ER and ICU who were there with Mom as she lost her battle to this most tragic disease.Services will be held at a later date. Arrangements are under the direction of the Conroy-Tully Walker Funeral Home of South Portland. To view Beverly’s memorial page or to leave an online condolence, please visit www.ConroyTullyWalker.com.In lieu of flowers donations can be made in Beverly’s name to theMercy HospitalSchool of NursingAlumnae Fund.Mercy HospitalPO Box 679Portland, ME 04104