Mary Kathleen Collins Obituary – The Arizona Republic

Mary Kathleen (Kitty) Collins died September 1, 2022 at the age of 75 at her [email protected] home in Tempe, Arizona. She was the third child of Nell Kathleen Collins Frey and Clarkson West Collins. Her father was so thrilled to have a girl after two rambunctious boys that he called her “Kitty”. The name stuck and Mary Kathleen became Kitty for her many friends and family. Kitty was born at the Collins Citrus Farm in Phoenix on April 16, 1947. In 1961, she moved with her mother to Marietta, Georgia, where she graduated from high school. In 1966, she returned to Tempe and enrolled at ASU where she graduated in 1970 with degrees in accounting and computer science. Kitty entered the business world with the international accounting firm of Arthur Anderson. She later joined ASM America in Tempe where she became Chief Financial Officer and Chief Financial Officer. During this time she hired Janine Donovan, beginning a business association and friendship that has lasted until today. Along the way, Kitty made several shrewd real estate investments in the valley and the mountain to the west. In 1985, she resigned from ASM to manage her business full-time. Mary Kathleen was an independent, strong-minded businesswoman who thrived on the booming economies of the oasis towns of Phoenix and Tempe and the Mountain West. Yet it was not dominated by their recent overcrowding and rampant growth. For a respite, Kitty retreated to the Four Corners area where she became an authority and collector of Native American arts and crafts; visited a family in the high desert prairies of southern Arizona and a farm in Marana; sought refuge in the stability and sanity of cowboy poetry at the Western Folklife Center in Elko, Nevada. Mary Kathleen was an extremely bright and unique person who learned throughout her life. She read widely and had the ability to retain and share details on topics that interested her. Kitty was a gourmet cook who loved healthy foods. She had a strict rule of frequenting small family businesses, craftsmen and restaurants; no Big Mac for her. She disapproved of multitasking as a learning tool, preferring to dig deeper into her subjects. She did not own a television, preferring to receive news from National Public Radio. An associate said he liked working with Kitty because she was always knowledgeable and he never had to guess where she was on issues. Over the next few years, Kitty generously supported several nonprofit organizations, including the ASU Foundation where she was a member of the President’s Club, and ASU Women in Philanthropy and the Gaming Center. She was a strong supporter of the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix, Western Folklife Center, Stradling Equine Foundation, Native Seeds, AZ Community Foundations, Museum of Northern Arizona and other charities that support the environment. . She loved yoga and deep mediation and practiced positive thinking. Kitty will be greatly missed by the Mirabella and ASU communities, her many friends and her family. She is survived by her brother Richard and sister-in-law Diane Davis Collins, nephew Richard West and his wife Jacqueline Ann Collins and their children William Albert 9 and Maelle Jennifer 6, niece Leslie Collins Cook and her daughters, Lexie, Tyler and Kendal. . Kitty was predeceased by her older brother Clarkson Franklin, her niece Jennifer Diane, and her mother and father. A celebration of Kitty’s life will be held this fall at Desert Botanical Gardens. Those wishing to attend, please login with your email address on the Tempe Mortuary website at In lieu of flowers, we ask that you send donations to one of Kitty’s favorite charities. Tempe Community Action Agency –

Posted on September 06, 2022

Posted in The Arizona Republic