Florissant residents Melina Collison and her daughters, Logen and Leighton, are reeling after the death of husband and father Steven Collison, who passed away in his sleep January 27, 2014 in the early morning.
Collison worked for Metro Paving for 20 years and has lived in the North St. Louis County area for the majority of his life. Along with his wife, Melina, Collison (who is also a former Examiner), Collison leaves behind four children, including Jake and Lacy Collison, his step-daughter Logen Pierce and his 10-year-old daughter Leighton Collison.
His wife says that Collison was a loving father and friend who would do anything for a friend or family member--and, she says, his family needs help now.
"Steve had a smile on his face and a joke to laugh with you no matter what was happening in his life," said his best friend, Bill Atkinson. "He was the most exceptionally positive person I have ever known."
Former coworker Peggy Kenney agreed.
"When he worked with me, we would laugh so much," Kenney said. "When him and (his now-deceased brother) Jeremy were out on a job with me, (they were so funny that) they would make my sides hurt...he was a solid friend,and they are so hard to find."
Steve Collison was also a co-leader for his daughter's Brownie and Girl Scout troops, a little league coach and the kind of guy you could always count on to give you the shirt off his back if you needed it.
But as his family struggles with losing him so early, they are facing more than just the loss of their father, husband, son, brother, cousin and uncle--they are also facing financial struggles.
Like many local families, the Collisons lived paycheck-to-paycheck, and since Steve was in good health and only 38-years-old, his death was very unexpected--that's why the family had no life insurance on him, Melina Collison said.
His sister and parents were still reeling from his older brother's recent death when they heard the news of Steve's death.
The family isn't wealthy and doesn't know how they're going to pay for the funeral.
A GoFundMe.com page has been set up to ask for donations to help support Collison's family in paying for the funeral and as they move forward without him.
Family and friends who have sponsored the page are asking that the public donate what they can, and if they can't afford to donate, that they share the page within their own networks.
"Please donate to the funeral fund; even if it's only a dollar--it all adds up," said family friend Sarah Connell, who donated $500 herself toward the cause. "Let's give Steve the funeral/memorial he deserves."
Did you know Steven Collison? Please share your memories of him in the comments section, below, and please don't forget to donate what you can to his grieving family, even if it's only a dollar, and to share the GoFundMe page in your networks.