Jeff died peacefully on Saturday, July 13 at Agrace Hospice in Fitchburg. Jeff lived a large and colorful life and he will always be remembered for his love of family and friends, and of course, the Green Bay Packers, Badgers, and Brewers. Jeff also loved beaches, babes, and brews. A perfect day for Jeff would include all three! He brought immense fun, laughter, and great adventures to all who knew him and who were fortunate to have the opportunity to hang out with him, even if only once. He was an authentic soul; one who believed a life well lived was a life worth living.
To plant a memorial tree in honor of Jeffrey Dean "Jeff" Collas, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
There is a quote by Hunter S. Thompson that sums up Jeff’s view on life and he unapologetically lived his life accordingly:
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”
Jeff had a brilliant mind and worked in sales for many years. He attended MATC and received his Associates Degree in Marketing. He was an entrepreneur at heart and his mind was always at work on his next business endeavor. He could sell anything; from furniture to timeshares to driveways to seafood or insurance. He had a cotton candy, snow cone, and fresh-squeezed lemonade business that he operated in many wondrous venues in Florida. To see Jeff in his element was something else – he was that good! He had a way of making people feel comfortable and relaxed instantly, and he genuinely was interested in hearing other people’s story. He had the gift of gab and a sense of humor like no other. He loved being a jokester and relished in even the smallest of pranks.
He lived in California, Florida, and the last ten years returned to Madison to be closer to family. Not a winter day went by where you didn’t hear a comment about the cold, often accompanied by what the temperature was in Florida that day and some mumbling under his breath asking himself “why did I leave the sunshine state for this $#&!”
He was a ‘foodie’ before it even became a word and his claim to fame were his deviled eggs (and some secret ingredient still unknown). Of course, the best food was really anything he did not have to prepare himself. In his later years, he enjoyed the likes of Rachel Ray and Dr. Oz and would take great effort to remember a recipe - usually for someone else to make of course. Jeff loved almost any sport and especially enjoyed the Green Bay Packers, so much so that he proudly sported a Green Bay Packer tattoo on his forearm. He was very proud of his love for the Packers. One of the sweetest things he would do was to call his mom right before the Packers, Badgers, or Brewers games were about to begin and remind her they were about to start and give her the channel it was on. She loved this and it is a great example of how thoughtful Jeff could be. He was also one of the first people to call you on your birthday – he had an excellent memory for many things and loved to recall stories from the past - and he had many! Some we are hearing for the first time these last several days. These stories have been of enormous comfort. His life was not always easy; and many would say he had all the makings for a great cinematic biography.
Jeff was born on October 3, 1959, the son of George and Anna. Family members left behind include his son Cody (Desiree); grandson Tyson; his beloved mother Anna Rose; five brothers: George (Karen), Frank (Shari), Phil, Mike (Laurie Wegger), John (Betty Goth) and three sisters: Nancy (Steve) Krause, Laura (Randy) Roundy, and Anna (Brent) Hoffmann. Many nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles, and friends further survive him. His father George preceded him in death.
Jeff will be missed and remembered by many people who have crossed paths with him once, or who have known him a lifetime. We invite friends and family to join us in a Celebration of Life to honor and pay tribute to Jeff, and share memories on Saturday, August 24, 2019 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm at Murphy’s Bar and Restaurant in Madison: 5344 Highway 113.
Jeff loved the color blue, especially the turquoise blues found in tropical waters, along with Hawaiian-style shirts. Please wear something in the spirit of Jeff if you have something, as we will celebrate Jeff and his love for “island time” – the way Jeff would want us to remember him and celebrate his life!
Definition: Island time is one of those delightful double entendres: On the one hand it refers to pace, a certain slack attitude towards the clock. But it also refers to time well spent, away, in a place that refreshes the spirit and cleanses the soul.
I have lived in sight of the ocean
where the water runs into the land.
I have walked on the beach in the morning
and left my tracks in the sand.
But the waves have been calling
and the ocean is so wide and vast,
that I’ve struck the silver horizon
and been put out to sea at last.