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In Memoriam: Peter M. Collins, Esq. (1937-2017)

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our friend, colleague, and co-founder Peter M. Collins, Esquire. Peter died at the McClure Miller VNA Respite House on June 10, 2017 at the age of 80 after a battle with cancer.

Peter grew up in Great Neck, New York, and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1959. He spent the next three years as a naval officer on destroyer escorts in the United States Atlantic Fleet. Leaving active military duty in 1962, Peter attended Boston University School of Law where he graduated in 1965. Peter had met Bernadine (“Bern”) Heller on a blind date in Boston in 1961, and they were married in 1962. He and Bern chose to settle in Burlington after his law school graduation. Peter was practicing law in a small law firm, and then on his own when Allan Paul, Joseph Frank and Peter decided to combine their practices for “economies of scale.” Together, they built one of Vermont’s largest and most preeminent law firms, known today, 49 years later, as Paul Frank + Collins P.C.

Peter was an active and important member of our community. He served for thirteen years on the Champlain College Board of Trustees, two as chair; and he was the past chair of the Burlington Business Association, and held many other community positions. He loved mentoring others and, as a natural teacher, he taught business law courses for years to Champlain College students, to say nothing of the many lawyers he taught how to practice law here at the firm.

Peter was a terrific lawyer and an impressive charismatic gentleman, with a wonderful sense of humor and a love for many things including his family, dogs, motorcycles, and sailing. Peter embodied everything that is the best of Paul Frank + Collins, and his legacy will be carried on into the future of this firm. He will be greatly missed.

Peter’s full obituary is available here.