In Memory

John Collins Ishmael

John Collins Ishmael

ISHMAEL John Collins fought the good fight and kept his good humor and wit about him until his earthly body gave out on April 27th surrounded by his family and friends. John's numerous high school friends, members from the art and music communities, long time soul mates and more recent friends joined with John's family and rallied around him, loving and supporting him without ceasing in the last few months. These friends and family were his life and inspiration and were much loved by John. John is survived by his mother, Doris Ishmael (Mick), his brother Jim Ishmael (Susan), his sister Jan Barna (Mike), nephews Matthew (Yo) Ishmael and Ben (Ellen) Ishmael and Michael Ishmael Barna and grand-nieces Mika and Emi Ishmael and grandnephew Kenji Ishmael. John came to faith in God and Jesus Christ late in life but in plenty of time to gain eternal life through his confession and testimony of Jesus as his Lord and Savior. Donations in John's memory may be made to Hospice of the Bluegrass, 2312 Alexandria Dr, Lex 40504 or to Habitat for Humanity, 451 Southland Dr., Lex 40503. The family would like to especially thank Hospice staff and his other caregivers and so many others for their dedicated care of John and help to the family. The family will host a Celebration of John's life at Church of the Savior, 1301 Brannon Road, Nicholasville on Friday, May 1st at 5pm. Come share special memories as we celebrate John's life together. -

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03/14/16 04:37 PM #1    

Dwight Douglas Peterson

As I prepare to attend our 50th high school reunion, I carry a heavy weight from John's passing. I looked forward to seeing him to relive embellished memories from so many good times we shared in High School and several years after. I spoke with him, by phone, when I was in Lexington for our 40th reunion but had lost his cell phone number when my cell phone expired. My brother reminded me that John was one of my mother's favorites despite littering the back yard with beer bottles when we played croquet. His sharp wit, humor and intellectual independence were refreshing and entertaining.  John came to visit me once in California. About a year and half ago, I received a postcard from John simply stating “I hope you are well”. There was no return address. That note will haunt me as we had not talked in many years and now………

03/15/16 09:21 AM #2    

Melanie Dale Rhorer (McCloud)

John and Jim lived across the street from me for 18 years on Vista Drive.  John continued to live there after his Mom re-married and moved to Florida.  Carolyn Goodnight and I would stop to visit with him on our way to LHS Alumni Assoc. dinners.....he would be in the front yard with a saw horse and saw getting ready to work on his next project for the house.....although we usually never saw much progress.  Always friendly, always with a smile on his face......I will always smile when I think of John Collins.

04/03/16 12:42 PM #3    

Charles (Ched) Reeder

John and I remained friends throughout our lives. Some times we would go several years without contact but when we would meet again it was like we had talked the day before. We got to be better friends after high school. John had run the 1/4 mile in High School track and he became a distance runner after; joining the early nerd runners like Phillip Gilbert, Barry Ritchie and me. We had many excellent runs together late on hot August nights.

John would often send me well writen letters from Florida or whereever he was; several pages of small script with excellent personal stories and observations on the world including his latest book recommendations. He could have been a great novelist. He was hip beyond his years and changed my way of thinking several times. He was the one to recommend these books to me; Catch 22, Siddhartha, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, The Monkey Wrench Gang, The Doors of Perception and many more.

John intellect and disposition led him to see through the facade of most institutions and he just couldn't play the game. I marginally could myself and I marched along the path more travelled. John never questioned my choices (to my face anyway :-) ). He was as accepting in his private life as he was rejecting of the power structure.

I visited him last year during his hospice. We had several good conversations and it was good to connect with his caring family. Surprisingly, one night after my return home, John called. It was just like so any of our calls, filled with his observations both close at hand and far afield. I couldn't believe he was up so late and we talked for almost an hour. I am always available for that next call John. Love you brother.

07/16/16 07:01 PM #4    

Mayla Desiree McKeehan (Honce)

After graduation I became acquainted with John.  He was bright, charming, intriguing, and a bit of a revolutionary.  I had hoped to see him again.  Alas.

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