Eastham native and oysterman Jared Kenelm Collins died suddenly and unexpectedly at home on Oct. 21, 2023. The cause of death has not yet been determined, said his wife, Alana. He was 35.
Jared was born in Eastham on Christmas Eve 1987. Four years later, he became the big brother of Cameron Morgan Collins. His parents are Linda (Beusee) Collins and Glenn Collins of Harwich.
As a child, Jared loved to climb trees, to hike, and to explore. He would catch frogs and carefully release them. He took nature walks with his dad, who showed him the local trails and taught him the names of insects, animals, trees, and plants. This certainly inspired his high school volunteer job: recording spring peeper calls for the National Park Service.
He always looked forward to the month of July — that’s when his cousin Charlie would visit, and the two shared a passion for nature.
Family was Jared’s top priority. He took great pride in his family’s ties to Cape Cod and its history and worked hard on his family’s property on Collins Cove.
Jared graduated from Nauset Regional High School in 2006 with high honors. He also earned recognition — a special brick bearing his name is displayed at the school — for giving the community over 400 hours of volunteer service before graduating.
Jared studied for two years at California State University in Long Beach, which gave him the opportunity to live with his maternal grandparents, Jerry and Jo Ann Beusee. He enjoyed life on both coasts, especially exploring the California desert with his mother and cross-country drives with his father.
He returned to Eastham and earned an associate’s degree in communications at Cape Cod Community College.
Being back home meant being closer to his high school sweetheart, Alana Daley. He wrote her poems and came to cherish her cats, Mo, Pax, and Heathcliff. Jared and Alana were married in the Province Lands in September 2012. Jared always said that their wedding day, which they celebrated with family and friends, was his best day ever.
Jared was intensely proud of Collins Cove Oysters, the business he and his brother started on grants that had been in their family since 1926. He was known around town for leaving bags of oysters hanging from the docks for friends and family.
Jared was elected to the Eastham Select Board in 2019 at age 31, becoming the youngest select board member on the Outer Cape. He also became president of Eastham’s Evergreen Cemetery. Giving back and serving his hometown were things he felt he was meant to do.
He served one three-year term as a select board member, choosing not to run for reelection in 2022.
People gravitated to Jared, appreciating his kind, gentle nature and brilliant wit. He offered a helping hand to anyone who asked for it and was a problem solver before anything else. He even knew how to fix well problems, as he had worked as well-driller when he was in his 20s. Jared was also an avid writer and woodworker, always creating.
In 2019, Jared and Alana bought the home that had belonged to his paternal grandparents, Ken and Marilyn Collins. He was proud to live in a house full of so many fond memories.
Jared leaves his soulmate and wife of 11 years, Alana Joye (Daley) Collins of Eastham; his parents, Linda and Glenn Collins of Harwich; his brother, Cameron Collins of Eastham; his grandparents Carol Beusee of Harwich and Gerry and Jo Ann Beusee of California; his mother-in-law, Janet Daley of Eastham; his brother-in-law, John Daley of Eastham; his aunts, uncles, and cousins; and his cat, Ziva. Jared’s family and friends feel lost without him.
Visiting hours will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 2 at the Nickerson Funeral Home, 77 Eldredge Park Way in Orleans.
Donations in Jared’s name may be made to the Cape Cod branch of the Animal Rescue League.