Collison, Mr. James L., Zilwaukee, Michigan

Barbara P. Frost

Beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and friend passed away suddenly Friday, January 8, 2010. Age 78 years. The son of the late Jack and Margaret (Gulvas) Collison, Jim was born November 4, 1931 in Saginaw, Michigan. He married Lozamae Rivette on May 26, 1951. She predeceased him December 11, 2004. Jim then married Beulah Cannon on September 29, 2006. She survives him. He was a member of St. Matthew Catholic Church. He served as Executive Director of East Central Michigan Planning & Development Commission and then the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration for 21½ years until his retirement in 1995. He was then employed at Wade-Trim Engineers in Bay City until 2008. Jim was instrumental in the development of the City of Zilwaukee and was elected Zilwaukee’s first mayor in 1964. Jim was founder of Northwest Utilities Authority and was appointed as chairman of TIFA which developed Bridgeview Center Industrial Park. He also served on the Saginaw County Board of Commissioners where he served as chairman from 1967-1968.  Surviving besides his wife Beulah are four daughters, one son and their spouses, Bonnie J. Ballard, Zilwaukee; Kathleen and Greg Smith, Thomas Township; Amy and Norman Smith, St. Clair; Lynn and Rod Coburn, Rochester Hills; James and Beth Collison, Troy; 12 grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; through his marriage to Beulah, Jim welcomed her five children, Judy and Jim Blohm, Patty and Roy Anklam, Kelly and Wayne Brown, all of Zilwaukee; Mary and Mike Hurley, Rockford; Brock and Caroline Cannon, Grand Rapids; 10 grandchildren; one great-grandson; two brothers and three sisters, Richard (Ken)  and Aija Collison, Saginaw; Michael and Sheila Collison, Fredericksburg, Virginia; Patricia and Don Brettrager, Chesaning; Joyce and Bill Rice, Grand Rapids; Rosemary (Bridget) and Donald Bittner, Ada; Jim’s special mother-in-law, Lorraine Rivette; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Clarence and Beverly Rivette, Frank and Mary Jane Rivette, Richard and Lou Rivette, Shirley Collison; many nieces and nephews. Jim was preceded in death by two sons-in-law, Alan Gross and Gary Ballard, a brother, John (Jack) Collison.  Honoring Mr. Collison’s wishes, cremation has taken place. A Funeral Liturgy will be celebrated 10:00 a.m. Thursday, January 14, 2010 at St. Matthew Catholic Church. Rev. Fr. Ronald Dombrowski will officiate. Friends may call at The Snow Funeral Home, 3775 N. Center Road, (between Shattuck and McCarty), where the family will be present on Wednesday from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and at St. Matthew Catholic Church on Thursday from 9:00 a.m. until time of Mass. A Vigil Service, led by Sister Janet Pewoski, C.S.J., will take place 6:00 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorials which were dear to Jim’s heart, Michigan Special Olympics Area #9 or Faith at Work, (a non-profit Catholic bookstore which sponsors charitable foundations).