Wednesday, May 12, 2021


Stephen J. Collins


Stephen passed away peacefully after a brief illness. He was surrounded by his late wife, Grace Marcosano Collin’s daughter Susan Cohen of Guilford, her granddaughter Melissa Cicilline of Newport, Rhode Island and sister Rose DeMatteo of New Haven.

Born Sept. 14, 1938, son of the late Francis M. Collins and Hannah Kelleher Collins, Steve proudly served his country as he enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Korean War era, earning an honorable discharge. Steve continued his dedication to a life of service joining the New Haven Police force in 1967. Upon his retirement from the police department, he worked at The British Art Museum in security for 21 years.

Steve was a studied artist with a degree in fine arts and illustration. He excelled in portraiture, working in oils. His keen eye for detail captured facial expressions including a portrait of the late Paul Mellon, benefactor of The British Art Museum and Choate Rosemary Hall. In 1983, he was commissioned to paint an 8’ by 32’ mural at central police station in New Haven; it depicted police in the community with a positive focus. It celebrated the various units and prominent public servants including the late mayor Biagio DiLieto and police chief William Farrell. This work of art was ordered whitewashed by the incoming administration. Years later, he once again answered the call to duty to paint an oil painting honoring fallen law enforcement at The Police Memorial in Meriden. A numbered lithograph hangs at The State Capitol in Hartford.

Proud of his Irish heritage, Steve and Grace traveled to Ireland in 1998, where they embraced the culture and met relatives. He is survived by his sister Sharon Bellinger of Hamden and stepdaughter Barbara Pisano of Cape Coral, Florida. Stephen was predeceased by his beloved nephew John Bellinger, whom he helped raise until age seven; a brother, Frank Collins, Jr.; and sisters Corinne Colllins and Clare Gunther.

The family wishes to acknowledge the dedicated staff at Connecticut Hospice. Therefore, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the CT Hospice, Inc., 100 Double Beach Road, Branford, CT 06405. Private services have been entrusted to The Havens Family, North Haven Funeral Home, 36 Washington Avenue. For his online obituary, please visit

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