Elly M. Collins
Sneider & Sullivan & O'Connell's Funeral Home - FD-230
977 S. El Camino Real
Tel. (650) 343-1804
Elly Collins passed away peacefully on October 28, 2012. She now rejoins her beloved husband of 56 years Ray, who passed away in 2009. Her daughter Ilona Glatzer and son Oliver Collins were by her side in Elly's final days and feel so blessed to have such an amazing mother.
Elly was born on April 17, 1922, in Hamburg, Germany. She married Ray in 1953 and started their family soon after. In 1959 Ray convinced Elly to move to "The Land of Opportunity", the United States. Unable to find work in the USA, they moved back to Germany a few months later. Elly was an accomplished chef and shortly after returning to Germany, she was "discovered" by Malcolm MacIntyre, then President of Eastern Airlines. After having dinner in Elly's restaurant, Mr. MacIntyre convinced Elly to move her family to New York and be his personal chef. While in New York, she prepared elaborate dinners for many notables including Richard Nixon, Secretary of State Dean Rusk and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. After several years of the hustle and bustle in New York, Ray and Elly wanted a slower pace to raise their family and moved to Clinton, Iowa, a small farming community along the Mississippi River. Although they enjoyed the quieter life in Iowa, Ray's adventuresome spirit ultimately convinced Elly to make one more move and they headed west to the "Golden State".
Elly loved California: the relaxed lifestyle, the people, its sunshine and having a large orange tree in her backyard. After settling in the San Jose area, Elly began a 15 year career in hospitality with Almaden Vineyards. She arranged many large scale events and parties as well as hosted private tours for VIPs. One tour included a helicopter flight over the vineyards with Mario Andretti. Elly seemed to relish that Mario found her German accent so charming, while Ray commented that Mario was a lousy driver and could only drive in circles! She sometimes brought home special bottles of wine that hadn't been consumed during tastings at Almaden, pair it with a specially made dinner and tell the family all about the wine.
Elly liked to travel and made countless trips back to Germany to see friends and family. She went with Ray and visited South America on several occasions and enjoyed a variety of cruises to different corners of the globe. Elly also enjoyed gardening and entertaining. Her parties were legendary and often went into the early morning hours!
Elly was absolutely a "people person". She didn't just like people, she loved them and her greatest love was her family. In addition to her children, she will be missed by her daughter-in-law Robin Collins and her 5 grandchildren Aron, Ross, Marcus, Melissa and Karl. "Oma" was very special to each of them.
A Celebration of Love will be held at Trinity Presbyterian Church in San Carlos at 1:00pm on Sunday, November 11. Remembrances can be made to Pathways Hospice Foundation, San Francisco office at 395 Oyster Point Blvd., Suite 128, South San Francisco, 94080.