First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia ~ Welcome home!

David Collier

d. July 10, 2012

     David was soft-spoken, a keen observer of human nature and process, and a man of dry and cutting wit. His spirit will be remembered with love by the First Unitarian community, where he was a long-time member.

     He was the son of Laura and Rev. Edwin Collier, who was the Minister Emeritus of First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia, and formerly led ministries in the Church of England and the Ethical Culture Society. David was an active member of the ministerial search committee that brought Reverend Ken Collier to First Unitarian in 1986. There were many jokes about First Unitarian having the corner on Unitarian ministers with the last name Collier!

     During the search process, David and his wife Mary Alice became the parents of Will, who was brought in a carry-basket to several meetings.   David and Mary Alice eventually welcomed a daughter Victoria into their family. If you wanted to see David open up, you just asked about the children, whom he adored. They were loving parents as well as devoted spouses.

 - Submitted by Anne Slater

     Visitation for family, friends and colleagues will take place on Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Lecture Hall Room 108 located in the CM Building of Mercer County Community College, 1200 Old Trenton Rd., West Windsor NJ 08550. A 2 p.m. graveside service will be conducted in St. Mary's Cemetery, 1200 Cedar Lane, Hamilton, NJ 08610 with the Rev. Nate Walker, pastor of the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia officiating.

     In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests memorial contributions in his name may be made to either The Trenton Historical Society or the Mercer County Community College Faculty Scholarship Fund. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Jeffrey C. Callahan, CFSP, The Chiacchio Southview Funeral Home, South Trenton, NJ.

Obituary Published in the Trenton Times

     David E. Collier HAMILTON TOWNSHIP - David E. Collier, 83, of Hamilton Township, NJ, a MCCC professor emeritus, passed away on Tuesday at his residence. Born in Manchester, Great Britain, Mr. Collier was the son of the late Laura (Williams) and Edwin W. Collier and husband of the late Mary Alice Quigley. He is survived by his two wonderful children, Victoria F. Collier of Lawrenceville NJ, and William T. Collier of Hamilton Township NJ and several nephews and nieces including Gullus C. Quigley Jr.

     He received his undergraduate degree at Trinity College in Hartford, CT with a double major in English and history. In 1953, he received his master of arts degree in history from Yale University in New Haven, CT. After graduation, he was drafted into the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Later, he earned an honorable discharge in 1955. Upon return, he taught at a private school in Connecticut. In 1961, he became a professor of English, and of American, European and New Jersey history. He also taught Introductory and Cultural Geography at Mercer County Community College, which was formerly known as Trenton Junior College. He inspired many students for 44 years. David enjoyed teaching and he found that the college students were hard-working, eager to learn and appreciative of what their professors taught them.

     For over a decade, David was a trustee of the Trenton Historical Society as well as serving as its president. He was a member of the Trenton House, the American Association of University Professors, served as chairman of the MCCC faculty senate, parliamentarian of the MCCC faculty association, the New Jersey Education Association, the ECCSSA, the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia, Common Cause, the South Street Seaport Museum, People for the American Way and the Philadelphia Ethical Society.

     He co-authored a book with his late wife, Mary Alice Quigley, entitled "A Capital Place - The Story of Trenton." This book focused on Trenton's growth from being farmland to becoming a center of government and industry. He spent his later years reading, writing and visiting with friends and chatting with new friends at the Hamilton Continuing Care Center where he passed away with his loving family at his side.

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