Diane "Dede" Collins, 76, beloved wife of Marshall J. Collins, Jr., of Greenville, peacefully passed away on Tuesday, February 11, 2020. The only child of the late William Andrew Pinasco and Augusta Raffin Pinasco, Diane Rose Pinasco was born on March 22, 1943 in Chicago, IL. She received her bachelor’s degree in education from Mundelein College, a women’s college currently a part of Loyola University in Chicago, IL. Diane taught for a few years in elementary education before marrying Marshall in 1966. After the young couple settled in Park Ridge, IL and were blessed with three children, Diane lovingly accepted her new role of fulltime mother and homemaker.
During the mid-eighties the family relocated to Greenville for Marshall's career, and Diane became an active volunteer in her new community. She was passionate about helping those less fortunate and spent time working with the Meals on Wheels organization and Greenville Literacy. Diane became an educator once again volunteering as a reading coach and committed countless hours working at the organization’s book sale. She was a dedicated and encouraging teacher for adults suffering from dyslexia and never gave up when faced with a challenge. Diane was thankful for her many blessings and professed her faith in God in her words and actions. She was a supportive parishioner of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church for many years.
Dede, as she was affectionately called by her friends and family, was a kind and loving woman who enjoyed planning extensive family vacations and traveling internationally with her husband. She was a gracious hostess and talented cook who regularly served fabulous Italian dishes for her family to enjoy. Dede was proud of her heritage and researched the family genealogy before the ease of the internet and even traveled to Italy to meet her cousins and connect her husband with extended relatives.
Throughout her many years living with Parkinson's disease, Dede never lost sight of who she was and never let her disease define her. She was mentally and physically active and kept fit by reading, working on jigsaw puzzles, walking and exercising. Dede was generous and kindhearted and devoted to her family above all. Her grandchildren brought her unimaginable joy, and she spent all her free time doting on them.
In addition to her husband, Marshall, Dede is survived by three children, Pamela (Olafur) Olafsson of Park Ridge, IL, Marshall J. (Vera Beth) Collins, III of Charlotte, NC, and Rebecca (Thomas) Kelly of Greenville; nine grandchildren, Bjorn, William, and Lukas Olafsson, Roman, Alexander, Tessa, and Lola Kelly, and Mary and Andrew Collins; a cherished brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Dennis and Janet Collins of Downers Grove, IL. She was preceded in death by her dear aunt and second mother, Elvira “Vera” Raffin of Chicago, IL.
A visitation will be held Tuesday, February 18, 2020 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Thomas McAfee Funeral Homes, Downtown Chapel with a Recitation of the Holy Rosary beginning at 5:30 p.m. The mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m., Wednesday, February 19, 2020 at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church with burial following in Woodlawn Memorial Park.
Memorial donations may be made to St. Anthony of Padua School, 307 Gower Street, Greenville SC 29611 and Greenville Area Parkinsons Society, 40 John McCarroll Way, Greenville SC 29607.
To send flowers to Diane "Dede" Rose (Pinasco) Collins' family, please visit our floral store.