A member of the duo Cloud Nine, Michael (Mick) Collis, has died after a short illness, aged 71.
Mick and his wife, Mary, from East Cowes, wrote and performed their songs across the Island over the last 10 years.
He was born in Chiswick Hospital in 1949 and had two older siblings, Roy and Brenda, whom he idolised. The children were brought up single-handedly by their mother Ellen and, despite hardship, had a happy childhood.
He started his interest in music by playing the drums, at the age of 13, but then changed to guitar and, although he had a few lessons, he was mainly self-taught. Mick joined a band as rhythm guitarist and went on to play in other club bands and accompanied solo singers.
He also tried his hand at writing songs and had small successes. At times he worked as a session guitarist and played in many local successful bands. It was through music that he met Mary, his wife of 32 years.
After leaving school he was involved in a variety of businesses and, at various times, had his own building company, a skip yard and a print shop. He was also a Surrey county councillor.
Mick spent many hours recording Mary’s songs and even though there were many lively discussions over the mixing of the tracks, they always reached a compromise in the end. Last Christmas they released a CD together entitled ‘Always Dreaming’.
In 2009 Mick and Mary moved to the Island where Mick loved the amazing scenery and wild life. He worked at Liz Earl’s for a number of years and then became facilities officer at East Cowes Town Council. This role enabled him to use all his past experience in the building trade, working as a councillor and running his own businesses.
Mick felt East Cowes was his second home and was always happy to support the town in any way he could. One of his greatest pleasures was being in the garden with the grandchildren feeding the birds and tending his tomato plants. He touched the hearts of many and will be greatly missed.
Mick is survived by Mary, children Glenn, Alice and Louisa and grandchildren Lorna, Scarlett, Sienna and Bobby.
No flowers. The family requests donations to Ryde Inshore Rescue. Cheques made payable to Ryde Inshore Rescue can be sent c/o the Co-operative Funeralcare, 45 St John’s Road, Ryde, PO33 2RN.