David “Jack” Collier, 83, of Galveston, passed away Saturday, August 1st, 2015, at his residence. He was born July 18, 1932, amongst the oil fields of East Texas in Henderson, to Jack and Mildred Collier. World War II brought the family to Galveston when Jack was 12. His father joined Todd’s Ship Yard as they prepared for the war effort. Jack graduated from Ball High School in 1950. He spent one semester at Stephen F. Austin College but dropped out to enlist in the Army and was stationed in Germany during the Korean War. After completing his service, he returned to Galveston and began his career working for the Galveston Wharves at Elevator “B” with his good friend, Harvey Croft, who introduced Jack to his sister-in-law, Mary Ann. Jack married Mary Ann Nelson in 1956. They celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary last summer.
Jack spent his career as a salesman in the maritime industry. Jack left the Port of Galveston in 1974 to pursue opportunities in the private sector. He led the marketing and sales team s of several stevedoring companies. But in 1991, he returned to the Galveston Wharves as the Marketing Director. His return to the Port coincided with the collapse of the Soviet Union, and Jack pursued many opportunities with the new free market economy of Russia. He traveled extensively throughout Russia and the former Eastern Block countries—developing a love of and appreciation for their culture and way of life while creating business relationships for the Port of Galveston. He retired from the Galveston Wharves in 1997. After retirement, he still pursued business interests and consulting arrangements with the Port of Lake Charles and Suderman Stevedores, eventually founding Lone Star Stevedores with his wife, Mary Ann. He closed down Lone Star and retired for good in 2008 due to health problems. Mr. Collier was a longtime member and board member of the Men’s Propeller Club, serving as the President twice. He was a longtime member of St. Patrick Catholic Church. He was also a member of the Elks Lodge, the VFW, the American Legion, and the “Old Men’s” Club.
The Colliers resided in the same home for 49 years, which was built in 1906. Jack, known as “Papa Jack” to many, loved living in an old Galveston home in an old Galveston neighborhood. For many years, he also had a fishing camp on the Bay where he grew tomatoes, raised chickens, flew pigeons, promoted wildflowers, and hosted many parties. He loved riding his bicycle on the Seawall, which he did every morning until health concerns made that impossible. He had the gift of gab, he loved people, and people loved him.
Mr. Collier was preceded in death by his parents, Mr. & Mrs. W. J. Collier; his wife, Mary Ann Collier; his son, David Jack Collier, Jr.; his grandson, Jack Collier Oldner; his sister, Jane Daniel; his brother, Jim Collier; and many friends.
He is survived by his daughters, Becky Collier and longtime companion, Earl Nash, of Galveston, and Cissy Collier Oldner and husband, Chris, of McKinney, TX; son, Joey Collier and wife, Jan, of Galveston, TX; grandchildren: Stephen Ward and wife, Britney; Dezirea Acker; Jessye Acker; Laura Ward; Reed Richardson; Claire Oldner; Olivia Oldner; and Lily Oldner; great-grandson, Wyatt Ward; step granddaughter, Nicole Kenworthy; step great-granddaughters, Elizabeth Smithers and Layla Gonzalez; and numerous nieces, nephews, godchildren, and many friends.
The family would like to thank Dr. Matt Dacso, the staff at Concord House, and the A-Med Hospice team, especially his nurse, Celeste, and the many caregivers that came to his home.
Mr. Collier’s family will receive visitors beginning at 5:00pm, Thursday, August 6th, at Malloy & Son Funeral Home. A rosary will begin at 6:30pm, led by Deacon Dell’Ollio.
Funeral Mass will be 1:00 pm, Friday, August 7th, at St. Patrick Catholic Church with Father EJ Stein, OFM, as Celebrant. Per his wishes, Jack will be cremated following the services and interred later at Calvary Catholic Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be Stephen Ward, Jim Collier, Trevor Fanning, Travis Fanning, Joe Pope, and Al Ortiz Jr. Honorary pallbearers will be Earl Nash, Chris Oldner, Davey Daniel, Moose Morton, Ray Molina, B.B. Nelson, and Phil Young.
Memorials may be made in Jack Collier’s memory to Galveston Seafarer’s Center, 221 20th St, Galveston, TX, 77550, (409) 762-0026.