Cover photo for Dr. Elsie Ellen McIntosh Collins's Obituary
Dr. Elsie Ellen McIntosh Collins Profile Photo
1922 Dr. Elsie 2023

Dr. Elsie Ellen McIntosh Collins

April 26, 1922 — July 17, 2023

Alpharetta, GA


Dr. Elsie Ellen McIntosh Collins, Ph.D.



Dr. Elsie M. Collins, Ph.D., of Hamilton, NJ, and Smithfield, NC, peacefully passed away in her sleep on Monday, July 17, 2023, at the age of 101, surrounded by family and loved ones. She was born almost sixty years after the end of the Civil War on April 26, 1922, in Durham, North Carolina to Charles and Ruth McIntosh. She was immensely proud of her African American heritage as the eldest of three siblings.


Dr. Collins enjoyed 43 years of challenging, wonderful, unique, and interesting experiences as an educator. In 1971, she became a professor at the College of New Jersey following her work as a classroom and demonstration teacher, program director, curriculum constructionist, and administrator in several schools and higher education systems in Delaware, New York, and New Jersey. She was appointed “Professor Emeritus” status by The College of New Jersey in 1995. During her professional career, she was the recipient of over thirty-five honor awards and plaques, indicative of her services to the communities she lived and served in. She is also listed in several Who’s Who Publications including but not limited to Who’s Who Among Black Americans (1977-1978), Who’s Who of Women in Education, 1st Edition; International Who’s Who of Intellectuals, 2nd & 3rd Editions; Who’s Who in American Education, 1989-1990 and International Who’s Who of Professionals, 1996-1997.


Elsie, also known as “Kissie” (NC) and “Mac” (DE and NY), was loved and will be remembered as a devoted mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, mentor, author, and friend as well as a lifelong community educator, activist, coordinator, speaker, and exemplary friend and neighbor. Her education included a Ph.D., in Education Administration from The Union Institute, Graduate School of Education (Cincinnati, OH) 1997; an MA Degree, The Teaching of Social Studies and U.S. History, 1952 – Teachers College, Columbia University (New York, NY); a Supervisory Certificate, 1975 – Rider University (Lawrenceville, NJ); a BA Degree, The Teaching of U.S. History; Minor – French and Mathematics, 1945, Delaware State University (Dover, DE) and the completion of the Urban Education Series – Rutgers University (NJ), 1980.


Elsie was the published author of Blessed Are the Meek, the Humble and the Bold, 2010; Gentle People from a Not-So-Gentle Past, 2002 and Smalltown Strutters,1996. With a grant of $8,000 from the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), Elsie made a film for television as part of her Doctoral Internship Certification that was expressive of teacher education and the training of teachers at The College of New Jersey. She also co-authored and contributed to “Who Am I? Proud, Black, and God’s Child: I am Somebody,” prepared for distribution by the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ. This is the only authentic historical account of African American families who populated the township of Wilson’s Mills, Johnston County, NC, as early as 1800. This booklet of fifty-five pages is on display in the Johnston Division of the Public Library, Smithfield, NC, and the Heritage Center, Market Street, Smithfield, NC. “Tomorrow’s Teachers Today,” (a film for television), Bhaduda Film Associates, Pittsburgh, PA, Capuzzi, Frank (Collaborator); “The Negro in the City,” and “Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Problems of American Society Series,” Washington Square Press, Inc.


Elsie was a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority and actively participated in multiple organizations including, but not limited to the Community Educational Advisory Council (CEAC) - Organizer and Chairperson, Hamilton, NJ; NAACP; Urban League; National Alliance of Black Educators; National Council of the Social Studies; SAVE our Children Community Organization; National Education Association (NEA); Mercer County Education Association; New Jersey Association of College Faculties; American Teacher Association; National Association of Christian and Jews; St. Paul United Methodist Church (Choir member/soloist, Administrative Board, Council on Ministries, Chairperson of Missions); Laity Representative to Ministry Council for Southern Conference of the United Methodist Church of Trenton Ecumenical Area Ministry (TEAM); Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development; United Negro College Fund; Southern Poverty Law Center; Board Consultant for Board of Directors, South Olden Apartments, Inc.; President - Board of Directors, East Trenton Day Care Center Council; Secretary, Board of Directors, East Trenton Day Care Center; Vice President, Board of Directors, Rescue Mission of Greater Trenton (integrated this board as first female and first minority member in 1980); Trustee/Board of Directors, John O. Wilson Neighborhood Service Center, Hamilton NJ; Board of Directors, Urban Mission Alliance; State of NJ Department of Education, Evaluating Team for Secondary Schools for the State of New Jersey. (Her assignment dealt with curriculum, instruction and instructors at Trenton Central High School, Trenton, NJ); Board of Directors, Young Scholars Institute; Board of Commissioners and The Heritage Center, Smithfield, NC.


Elsie was an excellent communicator, mentor and keynote speaker addressing groups and organization’s such as the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (Epsilon Iota Omega and Delta Lambda Chapters), Delaware State University; Johnston County Central High School; Short Journey Elementary School; Paraprofessionals of School District No 13. Newark, NJ; Woodrow Wilson Elementary School, Hamilton, NJ.

Elsie inspired thousands of people on her journey to personal freedom and success, from small towns in North Carolina to the “Big Apple” in New York City, NY. “Through the acquisition of knowledge, friendship, and wisdom, she developed the judgement to discern when to be humble and when to be bold.” Although Elsie was presented with many challenges through the course of her 101 years, she never gave up on the goals she set for herself and her community. “She never gave up on building strong relationships across lines of race, gender, age, and culture. Her faith in God was strong and her courage, wisdom, and strength in God’s promises never wavered, despite health challenges she faced later in life.


Elsie was a lifelong devoted Christian and a member of St. Paul United Methodist Church in Trenton, NJ. While in North Carolina, she attended Centenary United Methodist Church in Smithfield. Wherever she traveled, she attended local church services – some of which were Baptist, Pentecostal, Episcopal, and/or Catholic denominations. She faithfully read the bible, participated in choirs and on boards as well as led mission projects in Haiti, Africa, and the United States with the goal of spreading God’s word.


Elsie was preceded in death by her former husband Douglas M. Collins, Jr., and by all her siblings – Allie Marshburn, Elizabeth McIntosh & Nellie McIntosh. She is survived by her daughters Leslie Jean Collins Ramsey (Daniel) of Dover, DE and Kimberly Ruth Collins Myers of Alpharetta, GA. Elsie is also survived by her grandchildren Cassidy Ramsey, Macy Ramsey, Melodie Harris (Harvester), Aubrey Myers, Jr., Alexis Myers, Albany Myers, Amari Myers, Kwaine Myers (Nia), Christopher Myers & Jayson Myers. She was Aunt to Antonia Baker (William) and a Great Grandmother to Harmonie Lyte, Bless Lyte, Hazael Harris, and Hazaiah Harris.


A celebration for Elsie’s life will be held on Thursday, July 27, 2023, at the First Missionary Baptist Church, 403 Caswell Street, Smithfield, NC. A viewing will be held on Wednesday, July 26, 2023, from 1:00 pm through 6:00 pm at the Sanders Funeral Home, 806 E. Market Street, Smithfield, NC and at 10:00 am on Thursday, July 27, 2023, at the First Missionary Baptist Church, followed by a service starting at 11:00 am and burial at Wilson’s Mills Community Cemetery in Wilson’s Mills, NC.


In lieu of flowers, donations in Elsie’s name to the Dementia Society of America, P.O. Box 600, Doylestown, PA 18901 is appreciated. Online donations can also be made at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. Elsie Ellen McIntosh Collins, please visit our flower store.
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Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, July 26, 2023

1:00 - 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

First Missionary Baptist Church

403 Caswell St, Smithfield, NC 27577

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Thursday, July 27, 2023

Wilson's Mills Cemetery


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