Charles E. Collard, 87, passed away on January 3, 2021 after a three-year struggle with dementia. He captured everyone with his wit, humor and kindness. “Charlie” as he was known, was described by friends and colleagues as “one of a kind” and had the biggest heart. He had a zest for enjoying life and was a person of both conviction and passion. Throughout his life Charles always had time to provide advice, offer guidance or mentor family members, colleagues and friends.
Charles was born in Buffalo, NY to the late Eugene B. and Eleanor (Talty) Collard and was the oldest of eight children. As a child he enjoyed spending his summers at the family cottage in Crescent Beach, Canada and this tradition continued into adulthood. Tradition was number one in his heart.
Charles was a veteran of the US Army, stationed in the US and in Germany. He graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration in 1959. Upon graduating MSU he worked as a Regional Supervisor for the Aetna Casualty & Surety Company in Buffalo NY, Toronto Canada and Garden City, NY. In 1974, he accepted a position with Associated Aviation Underwriters, Inc., now known as Global-Aerospace, Inc., Parsippany, NJ where he was employed as Vice President and Manager of Airline Liability first in New York City, and later in Short Hills, NJ until his retirement in 1998. Charles had a distinguished career in the aviation insurance field, working with major airlines and on disaster teams.
Upon retirement, he knew he would be bored and set up Collard Network, LLC, a consulting company, where he continued to share his knowledge and expertise with Global-Aerospace and Crawford THG in New York City, among other clients. Charles also served as a trustee on the board of EAI Select Managers Equity Fund in Norwalk CT. Charlie enjoyed community involvement and while living in New York City was active with the Madison Square Boys and Girls Club. Upon moving to Montvale, NJ he was a member of the Montvale Municipal Committee and served as Treasurer. When he and Christine relocated to New Providence in 1987 Charlie joined the New Providence Republican Committee where he maintained his membership for many years, up until very recently. Charles also served as a trustee on the board of the New Providence Municipal Pool from 1990-1994. More recently Charles joined and was active in the New Providence Lions Club.
Charles enjoyed traveling with his wife Christine, as well as reading, politics and swimming at the YMCA. He was always available to help others. In his active life and career Charles was an Associate of the Insurance Institute of Canada and a member of the American Arbitration Association. He enjoyed attending Michigan State Alumni functions and sitting in the freezing cold watching countless football games. Through the years he received many awards and recognitions, but believed it was “all part of enjoying life”.
Charles is survived by his wife of 39 years Christine (Borawski) Collard, his siblings: Eugene (Elaine), J. Anthony (Katherine), Dr. Timothy (Patricia), David (Ann), and Ann Genco (Dr. Michael). He is also survived by his sister-in-law Carol as well as numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. Charles was predeceased by his siblings Peter and Susan Fanning, and Susan’s late husband, Daniel.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Paul Ippolito Berkeley Memorial. Once current Covid-19 restrictions are relaxed or lifted, a Memorial Mass will take place at Our Lady of Peace Church, New Providence, NJ followed by a gathering of family and friends to celebrate Charlie’s life. Please visit www.ippolitofuneralhomes.com for future memorial date and to share condolences with the family.
Memorials to honor Charles may be sent to:
New Providence Memorial Library, 360 Elkwood Avenue, New Providence, NJ 07974
New Providence Police Department, PBA Local 132, 360 Elkwood Avenue, New Providence, NJ 07974
New Providence Lions Club, PO Box 854, New Providence, NJ 07974
Michigan State University Alumni, 535 Chestnut Road, Room 300, East Lansing, MI 48824 or givingto.msu.edu