Cover photo for Larry K. Collier's Obituary
Larry K. Collier Profile Photo
1938 Larry 2017

Larry K. Collier

October 25, 1938 — January 22, 2017

The Collier family and all their friends and acquaintances were saddened to learn of the passing of Larry Kenneth Collier, 78, on January 22, 2017 in Buchanan, Michigan.   

Born on October 25, 1938 in Streator, Illinois he was one of six children of Eldon and Beatrice (Wood) Collier. When he was just five years old, and brother Eldon, seven, their mother would pack up a little wagon with baked goods and send them off to sell them. Larry was in charge of the finances of their small business, knowing how to make change even before starting school. He attended the one-room Dibbledale school in Cass County and for a short while Andrews Academy in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Larry started working at the age of 16, first repairing machines at Addressograph Multigraph in Chicago, and then moving on to C.C. Carlson Printing. Next he leased a Texaco Gas station, then bought a Shell gas station in Glencoe, IL, followed by a body shop and towing company and Arco gas station in Rosemont, IL. After moving to Berrien Springs he bought Wilson Hardware and renamed it Wilson Collier Hardware, updating it over the next eight years. He bought and managed Deans Hill Apartments and George Street Apartments. Two years of working at the Andrews University Bindery and Printers followed. Next he added the Village Inn Hotel which he and Mary Ellen totally renovated inside and outside. Larry loved to work, so next it was on to owning car washes in Buchanan and Berrien Springs, and building a mini-storage and Quick Lube business.

He was introduced to Mary Ellen Sievila in Berrien Springs by his future sister-in-law, Betty Reynolds (Collier Furman). Two years later he came back from Chicago to ask her to watch TV at his family's home. They were married after a brief six-week courtship on February 15, 1958 at the Arden Church in Berrien Springs. Son Richard was born in 1959, followed by daughter Rhonda in 1960.

He was a member of the Village Seventh-day Adventist Church, where he served on the building and finance committees, as a deacon, and helped with renovations, along with snow-plowing for 35 years.

Larry was known for his hard work, patience, honesty, dedication, kind-heartedness, and generosity, helping family members, employees, friends, and tenants. His businesses were always in tip-notch shape, and he encouraged and mentored other business owners.

He was a family man through and through. Traveling with family and friends to Hawaii, Branson, MO, Jamaica, on cruises, and to visit granddaughters was an enjoyment. Traveling companions included Ronnie & Art Brown, Betty & Eldon Collier, Betty & Lee Furman, Hazel & Sam Helfer, Peggy & Bob Keiser, Laura & Owen Moore, Nancy & Phil Riess, and Doris Schaller. Mowing the lawn on his beloved John Deere tractor and taking care of his yard which looked like a park continued to keep him busy.

He is survived by his wife of nearly 59 years, Mary Ellen, son Richard, daughter Rhonda (Gary) Johnson all of Berrien Springs; granddaughters Marissa Shelton of Tennessee, Dr. Cassaundra Johnson of Boston, MA, and Dr. Brianna Johnson of West Lafayette, IN; brothers Eldon (Sue) Collier of Berrien Springs, Keith (Charlotte) Collier of Walla Walla, WA, Gary (Jo Anne) Collier of Niles, MI; brother-in-law Warren Andrus of Apopka, FL; sister-in-law Kittie Collier of Berrien Center, MI; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents Eldon and Beatrice Collier, his brother Ronnie Collier, and sister Karen Andrus.

Larry passed to rest following complications from Alzheimer's disease. His family and friends are eagerly awaiting the second coming of Jesus when they can be reunited and spend eternity with their loving Heavenly Father.

Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, January 29 at Village SDA Church, Berrien Springs, with visitation starting at 12 noon. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the church building fund of the Village SDA church or Amazing Facts. Allred Funeral Home is assisting the family, and online messages may be left at

Village Seventh-day Adventist Church
635 St. Joseph Avenue, Berrien Springs, MI 49103

Village Seventh-day Adventist Church
635 St. Joseph Avenue, Berrien Springs, MI 49103

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Larry K. Collier, please visit our flower store.


Visits: 4

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree