Eugene Ronald Collins passed away on August 10, 2012 at the Veteran Affairs Hospital in Murfreesboro, TN where he had been a patient in the Community Care Unit since August 2010.
He was born in Lockport, New York on November 4, 1927 to Jay Howard and Lillian Collins. His father was born in Middleport, New York and his mother in Kent, England.
Gene enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1944 where he served seven years before changing to the United States Air Force. He was stationed at Chanute Air Force Base two tours and was a Flight Instructor for ten years. He spent one year in Tula, Greenland. Gene worked in the aircraft maintenance and repair unit and achieved the rank of E-6. Upon his retirement at Chanute Air Force Base, he moved to Bartow, Florida and began working as an inside installer with the General Telephone Electronics (later became Verizon). He earned his private pilot’s license and owned a Cessna airplane which he frequently flew from Florida to Tennessee to visit family and friends. Gene earned his certification as a Ham Radio operator and volunteered his expertise during emergency situations. He retired from GTE in 1982. While in Florida, Gene earned his Associate of Arts Degree. Gene was a member of the Presbyterian Church, had been a member of the Moose Lodge and was an active member of Lodge #214 of the Masonic Lodge in Manchester.
Gene and his wife, Sue, maintained homes in Florida and Tennessee splitting their time between the two homes until 1998 when they moved to Manchester full time.
Gene is preceded in death by his father Jay Howard Collins, mother Lillian Collins, and daughter Patricia Collins Replogle.
He is survived by wife Sue Canter Collins, daughters Beverly Collins, Mickey Lintz, and son Ronald Eugene Collins, Jr. (all from Arizona). stepdaughter Judy Whitehill-Murfreesboro, TN, stepson Roger Anderson-Greenbrier, TN, twelve grandchildren, three step grandchildren, and 20 great grandchildren.
Visitation will be on Monday, August 13, 2012 from 12:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m.
The Masonic Service will be on Monday at 2:00 p.m. with Dwight Hastings officiating followed by a Celebration of Life Service from the Chapel of Central Funeral Home in Manchester, TN. with Reverend Mark Barron officiating.
Burial will follow at the Rose Hill Memorial Gardens with Full Military Honors.
In lieu of flowers, Memorial Donations may be made to the Coffee County Humane Society.