1964 to 1985

Weddings, Losses, and Grandchildren



Mom and Dad were sad to lose a daughter but elated to have a wonderful first son-in-law, Mike Shannon.

This November 28, 1964 wedding began a new era for the Collins family.




The Grandkid years officially began with Sean on November 15, 1965, then Maureen on June 10, 1967,

followed by Colleen on July 29, 1969. The Shannon clan visited the proud great-grandparents with all three.




Impressed by Joyce and Mike’s and other happy families and unimpressed by all the turmoil in the Catholic Church

 I decided to choose family life over the priesthood.



After serving for three years as a teaching brother, I took a librarian’s job at Wheatland High School

 and prayed to meet the right girl. The Good Lord soon brought Barbara LaPlante and me together

 for a second wedding celebration for the Collins family.




The August 7, 1971 wedding was soon followed by the birth of another beautiful Shannon girl,

Erin (September 23, 1971). Barbara and I were the proud godparents.




With four grandchildren, Mom and Dad were elated. Joyce and Mike had spoiled them with a grandchild every two years. What planning. Barbara and I were not as talented. We broke the two year cycle with our first daughter Jennifer on June 29, 1972.



While Mom holds granddaughter number four, another wedding is brewing.

Zoe has met the man of her dreams, Mike Lighty.



The great wedding celebration on June 16, 1973 was followed the next day by the passing of Mom’s Dad, John Scherer.

He had lived an exciting 81 years leaving a legacy of adventures and longevity.


John loses his Dolly; Mom loses her Dad.


The roller coaster ride continues. Tragedy is followed by Triumph with the birth of Rachel on September 30, 1973.


Now Mom had five granddaughters and one grandson. She must have been praying for a few more grandsons to keep Sean company. Her prayers were heard when Zoe and Mike were blessed with their first son, David, on January 19, 1975.




Barbara and I joined Mom in praying for a boy too. We were blessed on April 13, 1975 with our first son, Jeffrey.



Surrounded with girls, Jeff would be praying for a little brother, but he might have to wait a few years.

Mike and Zoe soon came to the rescue on April 14, 1976 with another boy,  (Jeff’s cousin) Tony.



After three grandsons in a row, it was time for more granddaughters. Barbara and I helped out with Margaret (Maggie)

 on February 22, 1977, and Ellen on September 6, 1979.





Mom and Dad with Ellen 1979





In 1982 tragedy struck again for Mom and all of us with the passing of Grandma Scherer.

She had lived 89 years, long enough to meet many of her great-grandchildren:


Grandma Scherer 1974


The long progression of grandchildren came to an end with two more boys to join the Collins clan,

Joseph, on May 11, 1983, and John Arthur, who tragically died shortly after birth on November 11, 1985.


Joe at six months


An era of weddings, losses, and grandchildren had ended.

And Mom celebrated each Christmas making knitted caps

And taking a grandkids picture on the stairs at the Lighty’s home.


My, how they’ve grown.


Next: 1986-1992


Helen Collins