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Paul  J. Collins
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Obituary for Paul J. Collins

Paul J. Collins, 79, of Iowa City, died Wednesday afternoon, January 25 surrounded by his family at his home following a battle with cancer.

Mass of Christian of Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 am on Saturday, January 28, 2017 at The Newman Catholic Student Center, Iowa City with Father Ed Fitzpatrick officiating. A luncheon will follow. Friends may call from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. on Friday at Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service, 605 Kirkwood Avenue, Iowa City. Burial will be in St. Joseph Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Table to Table, The Catholic Worker House, Pathways Adult Daycare Center and The University of Iowa Foundation Paul and Grace Collins Memorial Nursing Scholarship.

Paul James Collins was born June 26th, 1937, in Lawler, Iowa, the son of John and Charlotte (Burke) Collins. He was raised and educated in Osage, Parkersburg and Iowa City, Iowa. He graduated from Iowa City High School and proceeded to serve in the U.S. Navy. Following naval duty in the Pacific Rim, he attended St. Ambrose University for undergrad studies and completed his D.D.S. at University of Iowa College of Dentistry in 1966. He was united in marriage to Grace Mary Buchheit on June 9, 1962, in Dubuque, Iowa. The couple made their home in Iowa City until 1966 and then moved to Davenport, Iowa. They returned to their beloved Iowa City when Paul joined the faculty as a member of the Department of Periodontics. While serving as a faculty member, he pursued advanced studies in periodontics and served on as well as chaired the college's admissions committee for many years. He was an educator and practitioner who thoroughly enjoyed teaching and mentoring generations of University of Iowa dental students. The work of Paul and his dedicated colleagues at the U of I College of Dentistry was a source of pride and joy until his retirement in 2002. His wife, Grace, passed away in 2003.

Paul and family cherished annual vacations to Rocky Mountain National Park as well as the many hiking adventures that came with them. In 2004, Paul married Nancy Buchheit. Paul served as a docent at the UI Museum of Art after retirement and volunteered as a Table to Table driver for ten years. Sandwiched in between Hawkeye sporting events and Hancher shows with grandchildren, Paul and Nancy enjoyed traveling across the U.S and Europe.

Paul was a member of the Catholic church and attended the Newman Center, St. Mary’s, St. Wenceslaus and St. Patrick’s parish.

Paul is survived by his wife, Nancy, his daughter, Therese Collins, three sons and their wives, Thad Collins and his wife, Jeannie, Kevin Collins and his wife, Amy all of Coralville, Iowa, Chris Collins and his wife, Tracy of Nashville, TN, seven grandchildren; Emily, Ryan, Rachel, Catherine, Nicholas, Abri and Isaiah, his sister in law Fran (John) Collins, brother William of South Bend, IN, sister Jean Reed of Iowa City, brother Richard and sister-in-law Karen of Davenport.

He was preceded in death by his parents John and Charlotte, his wife Grace, and his siblings John, Sheila and Mary Collins and brother-in-law Duane Buchheit. Also, mourning Paul, are Nancy's sons Dave and Scott Buchheit and Dave's wife Jolene, and children Bridget and Will.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Paul J. Collins, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service -- Iowa City

605 Kirkwood Avenue
Iowa City, IA 52240





11:00 AM
Newman Catholic Student Center

104 E. Jefferson Street
Iowa City, IA 52245

Cemetery Details


St. Joseph's Cemetery

1122 N. Dodge Street
Iowa City, Iowa 52245

Memorial Contribution

Table 2 Table

20 E. Market Street
Iowa City, IA 52245

Pathways Adult Day Health Center

817 Pepperwood Lane
Iowa City, IA 52240

University of Iowa Foundation

P.O. Box 4550
Iowa City, IA 52244-4550

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