Cover photo for Carol Imogene (Maxwell)  Collins's Obituary
Carol Imogene (Maxwell)  Collins Profile Photo
1927 Carol 2022

Carol Imogene (Maxwell) Collins

October 15, 1927 — September 16, 2022


Passed away peacefully at the age of 94 on Friday afternoon at Bickford Memory Care.  Carol was born to Reverend Marvin and Nelle Maxwell in Riverdale, Georgia.

After attending LaGrange College, Carol completed her Music Therapy degree at Michigan State University.  She worked at the Kalamazoo State Psychiatric Hospital as their first Music Therapist, where she met and married Bill Collins, the love of her life.  She also completed her Masters Degree in Special Education at WMU.

As the field of Music Therapy was in the early development phases, Carol is now considered a pioneer in this field.  She started the Music Therapy Program at WMU in 1958.  They moved to Rochester, MI., where she taught Music Therapy at Wayne State University.  After a move to Carmel, Indiana Carol taught Music Therapy at Indiana Purdue University.  She was the recipient of the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in Music Therapy for Outstanding Professional Contributions in November 2000.

Carol was also always surrounded by church music, playing piano from an early age.  She continued playing piano and organ for various churches, later directing church choir in addition to her teaching responsibilities.  She and Bill were honored to be charter members of the Chapel Hill Methodist Church on Oakland Drive in Portage.

The couple moved to Chicago, where they lived in a condo overlooking Chicago Cub’s Stadium.  They retired to their home on Pine Lake for several years, finally moving to Kalamazoo to be near family and their many friends.

Bill and Carol enjoyed traveling, spending many vacations visiting family in Georgia, Tennessee and Florida.

Carol was a proud member of several professional organizations, including the National Association for Music Therapy (NAMT), P.E.O. Chapter ED, and the National Association of University Women.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, William, her parents and 3 loving younger sisters, Barbara June, Amelia and Sarah Ann.

She is survived by her children, William (Louanne) Collins and Rebecca (Mark) Fraire; grandchildren, Matthew (Krissy) Collins, Mindy (Bryan)McFaul, Allison Collins, and Emiliano (Amy) Fraire.   She is also survived by 2 great-grandchildren, Luca, and Cameron Collins.

Cremation has taken place and a memorial service to celebrate Carol’s life will be held on October 16 at 3pm at Chapel Hill UMC, 7028 Oakland Drive, Portage, Michigan, 49024.  Memorials may be directed to: William and Carol Collins Music Therapy Scholarship -School of Music, Western Michigan University or Chapel Hill Vocal Student Intern Program, Chapel Hill UMC, Portage, MI.

A special “thank you” to the staff at Bickford for their loving care of our mother and grandmother in the last years of her life. To view Carol’s personalized guestbook, please visit

To order memorial trees in memory of Carol Imogene (Maxwell) Collins, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memeorial Service

Sunday, October 16, 2022

3:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

UMC (Chapel Hill, Oakland Drive, Portage, Michigan)

, Portage, MI

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