Obituary of Richard Collier
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Richard F. Collier, Jr., 63, of Belle Mead, N.J., passed away on Christmas Day. Rich was born in Teaneck, N.J., to the late Richard and Catherine Collier. A graduate of Bergen Catholic High School, Harvard College (cum laude) and Boston University School of Law, he served two years as a law clerk for a federal judge in Trenton before spending 36 years in private practice specializing in litigating sophisticated commercial disputes. He served as President of the Somerset County Bar Association; Chairman of the Ethics Committee for Hunterdon, Somerset and Warren Counties; Chairman of the Federal Practice Committee of the State Bar Association; member of the Lawyers Advisory Committee for the federal courts in N.J.; and member of the N.J. State Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Since 1989, Rich served as President of the Legal Center for Defense of Life, a non-profit organization providing legal services to protect human life, from conception to natural death, especially the life of the unborn baby in the womb. As one of the state's premiere pro-life lawyers, Rich was involved in numerous high-profile cases, including his 1997 appointment by a Superior Court judge to represent an unborn baby and his appointment by the State Legislature to defend its statute banning partial-birth abortion, also in 1997. But of all his achievements, Rich was proudest of his family. He was the devoted husband of Janet A. Collier for 36 years and the beloved father of Megan Reilly and her husband Michael, Sean Collier and his wife Kelly, and Matthew Collier and his wife Shannon. He was the dear brother of Robert Collier and the late Brian Collier. Rich is also survived by six loving grandchildren: John (Jack), Daniel, Mark, William, Matthew, and a child due in July. He was a good, faith-filled man, known for his kindness and generosity, who will be sorely missed. The family will gather with their family and friends for the Funeral Mass at St. Paul R. C. Church, 214 Nassau St., Princeton, N.J., on Monday, December 30th, at 10 a.m. Interment will follow at St. Hedwig's Cemetery, Ewing, N.J. The family will receive their relatives and friends at Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, 40 Vandeventer Avenue, Princeton, N.J., on Sunday, December 29th, 2-6 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made in Rich's name to the Legal Center for Defense of Life, 14 Franklin Street, Morristown, N.J.; Life Choices, 156 S. Main St., Phillipsburg, N.J.; or Good Counsel Homes, P.O. Box 6068, Hoboken, N.J.