John S. Collins



The funeral for John S. Collins will at 2:00 p.m. today at Litwiller-Simonsen Funeral Home in Ashland. Mr. Collins, 93, of Ashland, died Friday morning at the Country Side Living Alzheimer's facility in Canby.



He was born June 23, 1914, in Artemis, Penn., a son of Thurman and Ethel Collins. The family moved to Oregon and he attended public schools in Worden and in Dorris, Calif.



On Oct 29, 1938, in Ashland, he married Vera Landing, who preceded him in death in 2004.



After logging and ranching as a young man, Mr. Collins worked for the Southern Pacific railroad. Mr. and Mrs. Collins lived in an outfit car in 1939 and 1940 near Tennant, Calif. He became a foreman on the railroad, and the couple lived at Kegg, Calif. He later became a general foreman and the couple lived in Lakehead and Klamath Falls.



After Mr. Collins lost an arm in a railroad accident in 1966, he and Mrs. Collins moved to Eugene, where he moved to an office job with the railroad. They moved to Ashland in 1973 when he retired, staying in a cabin they built earlier while they built their retirement home.



Mr. Collins learned to fly and became a pilot after he retired. He was an avid gardener and a ballroom dancer who loved to dance at senior centers around Southern Oregon. He was a member Our Lady of the Mountain Catholic Church and the Bellevue Grange.

He loved to tinker with machinery. He designed and built devices that enabled him to build fences and install and remove the camper on his pickup truck with one arm. Friends and relatives said he could do more with one arm than three men with two arms each. Mr. Collins will be remembered as a playful, resourceful, fun-loving man, irascible but kind.



Surviving are a daughter, Anne O'Doherty, of Woodburn; a son, Donald Collins, of Bolivar, Tenn.; seven grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.