Carmen Collins, 88, a longtime resident of Metuchen, died in the early morning of Wednesday, July 3, at the N.J. Veterans Memorial Home of Menlo Park, Edison. She was born in the Bronx on December 31, 1930, to Carmela DeFilippo and Paul D’Andrea; and she married her beloved husband Robert Collins in the Bronx on December 28, 1952.
Carmen was a graduate of Walton High School (1948) and Hunter College (1952), both in the Bronx. She began her career as an elementary school teacher. When her two children were young, she was a avid contester, constantly writing jingles and winning valuable prizes. In 1979, she earned a doctorate from the Rutgers University School of Education, authored a textbook called Read, Reflect, & Write, and taught pre-service teachers on Rutgers’ New Brunswick campus. Apart from her academic work, she wrote a novel called My Son, the Priest, which she also turned into a play and screenplay. As a result of entering playwriting contests, she saw her play produced professionally five times, including once Off-Broadway. She was a trustee of St. Francis Cathedral and at one time chaired the St. Francis Historical Guild.
Carmen was predeceased by her son, Paul Collins; her parents; and her brother Paul D’Andrea. She is survived by her husband Robert, now of Edison; daughter Marie Collins of Lambertville and her daughter Dr. Laurel Pellegrino (husband Matt Daniels) of Seattle; daughter-in-law Jean (Johnson) Collins and her children Heather Johnson Moore (husband Christopher, son Clayton) and Brian Johnson (wife Shannon, children Carter and Loretta), all of Hightstown; sister Rose (D’Andrea) Clancey of Iselin and her daughter Michelle Clancey of Doylestown, PA; late brother Paul’s daughter Christine (D’Andrea) Davis and her daughter Tracey (Davis) Maione (husband Paul), all of Chicago; and many others.
Funeral arrangements are private. In lieu of flowers and in recognition of her nearly 10-year battle with Alzheimer's disease, donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Association (www.alz.org) in her name.