Cover photo for Ernest "Todd" Collins's Obituary
Ernest "Todd" Collins Profile Photo

Ernest "Todd" Collins

January 4, 1954 — May 19, 2024

Central Lake

Ernest "Todd" Collins

Ernest “Todd” Collins II, 70, of Central Lake, Michigan (formerly of River Forest, IL and Pinehurst, NC), passed away peacefully on May 19, 2024, overlooking his beloved Torch Lake, surrounded by family, after a courageous battle with cancer.

Born on January 4, 1954, in Chicago, IL, Todd was the son of Todd and Lynn (Trimmer) Collins. He was proud to be a fourth-generation summer resident of Torch Lake before making it his permanent home in 2011. Todd grew up in River Forest, IL, attending Washington Elementary, Roosevelt Middle School, and Oak Park River Forest High School, where he competed on the wrestling team and played the French horn in the marching band. Every summer was spent at Torch Lake, swimming, water skiing, sailing, and beating his sisters at Hearts, Monopoly, and Spades in the evenings.

He earned his MBA in finance from DePaul University and was a successful entrepreneur. Todd was the President of Lynn Marketing Group, his family-run direct mail marketing business in the Chicago area. He ran the company with his ex-wife, Karol, with whom he raised two daughters before retiring to Northern Michigan. Over the years, he was an active member of the First United Church of Oak Park, IL, the Rotary Club of Elmhurst, IL, and the Economic Club of Traverse City, MI, and volunteered with the Junior Achievement program, teaching entrepreneurship at Bellaire Middle School.

An avid sailor, Todd enjoyed sailing MC and E Scows at the Torch Lake Yacht Club and embarked on many sailing adventures worldwide. He loved golfing with friends across the country and spent several years living in Pinehurst, NC, enjoying all the golf community had to offer. He golfed all summer Up North, organized the TLYCC annual golf scramble, and hosted friends for his annual ice golfing event on Torch Lake each winter.

Todd also loved snow sports, enjoying skiing, snowboarding, and snowblading. He shared this passion with his daughters and the community, working as a ski instructor at Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin, and volunteering as a gatekeeper at his daughters' ski races. He loved to share his passions and encourage the younger generations of sailors, golfers, and skiers in his community. He always showed up to all of their sporting events with his camera in hand and displayed his best action shots on the "wall of fame" around his pool table. He had an extensive vinyl record collection that he enjoyed sharing with friends and neighbors. Todd's other passions included playing tennis, hosting canning parties to make pickles and jam, cruising around Torch Lake in his boat, White Capper, and playing games with his family, including Yahtzee, Parcheesi, shuffleboard, chess, and poker.

Todd was a dedicated steward of Torch Lake and the surrounding area, contributing countless hours to the “Keep Torch Lake Blue” campaign. He served enthusiastically on the board of the Three Lakes Association and was an active member of the Torch Lake Protection Alliance. He worked tirelessly to expand membership, promote initiatives, and raise money to support their causes. He loved sharing his Torch Lake home with friends and family, especially his grandkids. He was so happy and proud to watch the 6th generation of his family enjoy their summers at the lake he loved so much.

Left to cherish his memory are his daughters and grandchildren, Erica (David) Schulze and their son Emmett, and Elisse Collins and her children Maysen, Alden, and Finley; his sisters Kathleen (Mike) Babb and Nancy (Mark) Saldi; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and his favorite dog, Jack.

A visitation will be held at the Dockside on Torch Lake on Friday, June 28th, at 8 p.m. An Irish Wake and Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, June 29th, at his home, beginning with a Memorial Service at 7 p.m., followed by a live band, dancing, and fireworks. Come share your memories with his family and friends.

In lieu of flowers, please support his legacy through the "Todd Collins Keep Torch Blue Fund”. Donations can be made on the TLPA website, in memory of Todd Collins: Todd Collins Keep Torch Blue Fund - Torch Lake Protection Alliance (

Arrangements are in the care of the Central Lake Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes. Please sign his online guestbook at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ernest "Todd" Collins, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Friday, June 28, 2024

8:00 - 10:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Irish Wake

Saturday, June 29, 2024

7:00 - 10:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 1132

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree