Ocean Beach 05

Bessie Mae Collins

November 24, 1952 ~ June 8, 2021 (age 68)


COLLINS, Bessie Mae, was born on November 24,1952 in Jonestown, Mississippi to the parents of David Branch & Louida Stewart. She received her formal education through the Cleveland Public School System where she excelled in her studies. She then furthered her education at Southern Ohio College and graduated in 1986.

Bessie was no stranger to hard work. As a teenager she worked in the field to help support her family by picking cotton, corn, and other various vegetables. Bessie was employed at several companies but made her home as an employee at Northeast Ohio Neighborhood Services on May 10,1993. She enjoyed working at the clinic and spoke highly of her co-workers. She served dutifully for 27 years before retiring in October 2020. In her leisure time she enjoyed playing gin rummy and spades, writing, singing in the church choir and serving the people of the Lord.

Sister Collins accepted Christ as her Savior as a child growing up in Batesville, Mississippi where she attended Second Concord Baptist Church. We believe from that moment of confession she began her walk with her Creator and was always abounding in the works of God. Shortly after arriving in Cleveland, Ohio in 1969, she became a member of New Mt. Zion Baptist Church under the leadership of the late Rev. Dr Carey McCreary. Other family members also made New Mt. Zion their church home. Bessie Collins remained a member of New Mt. Zion until the time of her departure from this life under the leadership of Rev. Dr. William H. Myers. "Thank you, my heavenly father, for calling me out of darkness into your marvelous light. Thank you for the opportunity to share your light with others. Thank you for forgiving me for ignoring your call and running away. Thank you for searching for me and then guiding back onto our path. Thank you for keeping the lamp burning. I surely want to be ready for your last call." (Bessie's Prayer)

In order to complete her assignment from God on this earth and serve his people she joined several ministries in the church. She served as the President of the Voices of Love where she wrote all of their easter speeches and their plays. She served on the Homeless & Prison ministry where she was able to further spread the word of God. She sang as an alto in the Voices of Zion and Mass Choir for many years. Although she was very shy and nervous about speaking in front of crowds, she eagerly awaited Sundays, in order to participate in evening service to display her talent of poem writing. She went on to teach the word of God during Sunday School as well. Ms. Collins would braid and bead her daughters and niece's hair on Saturday evenings before Sunday morning service ensuring all were ready for church. Bessie loved to spread the word of God, especially to strangers, family, and anyone who she came across. She always had an encouraging word and the gift of making everything better.

Bessie was called home to be with her Creator on June 8, 2021, at 2:30pm in her home surrounded by her family who loved her special. She was preceded in death by her father, mother, 9 siblings and a son (Azzriel Shondell Collins). She leaves to mourn her departure, 2 daughters Meshalena Tawona Robinson (Carl Robinson) and Shoneia Monique Collins both of Cleveland, Ohio. 6 siblings, Dorothy Soloman of New York, Roosevelt Stewart & Ethel Billips of New Jersey, Betty Branch of Illinois, and Johnny & Arthur Collins of Cleveland, 6 grandchildren, Arriel Carl Jr, Carnell, Shondajah, Shondell, and Shontrey, one great grandchild, Arrieon, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

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 Service Program


Public Viewing
June 14, 2021

10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Watson's Funeral Home
10913 Superior Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44106

Funeral Service
June 15, 2021

10:30 AM
New Mt.Zion Baptist Church
1508 East 71st Street
Cleveland, OH 44103

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