Steven Brunke Collier passed away on Tuesday November 10, 2020, in the Renfrew Victoria hospital after his battle with brain cancer.
Steve was born in 1942 in Omaha, Nebraska. He moved to Calabogie with his wife Dale Ann in 1972, where he worked as a stone mason, draftsman and artist. Despite a lost leg and health problems following a car accident in 1976, he continued working to the
best of his abilities well into old age.
Many will fondly remember his work, his art and his storytelling. He was a remarkable man with a great amount of knowledge and a love for history. Steven was predeceased by his loving wife Dale who passed away in 2017. He will be greatly missed by his
son John, his daughter in law, Natascha, his 2 grandchildren, Jayden and Cheline, his many friends and extended family.
The family would like to thank the doctors and nurses at the Renfrew Victoria hospital for the outstanding and compassionate care provided to Steve.
A heartfelt thanks to those who made his time in the hospital easier for him, came to visit and shared a good book and a good laugh with him over the past several months.
Professional service has been entrusted to the care of Goulet funeral home Renfrew.
Due to Covid restrictions a celebration of life will be planned for summer 2021.
From Something About the Author (1990):
Collier was severely injured and burned in a car accident in July, 1976. He was confined to a hospital bed for one year, and four additional months were spent in rehabilitation learning to use crutches. A nurse, discovering that he was a talented artist ,
asked author Joan Davies to consider Collier's illustrations for her Martin's Starwars.
Using artists' materials which could be manipulated in bed, Collier found pleasure in illustrating for children. "Probably it should be noted that the illustrations in Martin's Starwars were done in desperation when I was at least fifty pounds
underweight, and the writer had been told I was near death. I had received the Last Rites of the Catholic Church they told me when I woke up. Some snafu, no doubt , or a rookie priest — I never was a Catholic...
"Thus far, my career in general is remarkable only for luck and durability: I should be dead or mad! There are books waiting where the unwritten ones live, and more and better illustrations.
"It seems I can't leave the art world alone. Maybe it won't leave me alone. I've worked in wood, iron, and stone. It is always there, beckoning and jeering. While there is neither fame nor fortune in it, I'm more 'successful' at it than friend Van Gogh
was in his lifetime. My stuff has sold well enough to cover expenses. My main problem is specializing. Most of my work is commissioned and is instantly gone, so there's no 'body of work' for a show.
"Is not art the child of affluence? Is it not perverse to turn it around ? Is not well-doing its own reward ? Sometimes it works !"
Collier spends his time with his wife and son on a small homestead west of Ottawa. He draws, paints, carves, and sculpts, working in a small outbuilding which he built. The family keeps goats and grows food to dry, freeze, and preserve for the winter
months. "Time is desperately short here in the northern hills. The days wing by and the roof is not finished, the winter's wood needs cutting and stacking in the woodshed, spuds need digging , butchering awaits. It's tough to find time to carve, paint
"Richard tries out his new space suit, meets Martin the spaceboy, and has several strange journeys to planets never before visited by earth people."
When Wishes Go Wrong:
"Willow Davis is a genie. And, as a genie, she grants only the most sincere wishes. But something strange is going on because suddenly anytime anyone says 'I wish,' Willow grants that wish. This means big problems for Jeanie and Willow. Can the girls
figure out the problem? Or is there something more…out-of-this-world going on?"