|Birth: ||Jun. 24, 1938|
|Death: ||Aug. 17, 1977|
William Andrew Jr. Collins was the first of three children born of William Andrew Collins and Ruby Irene (Vick) Collins.
Billy died at the age of 39 in a construction accident on a building in St. Joseph, Missouri,when he fell after stepping backward off an ironworkman's building project.
(I believe school was out so he was back to his old profession during the summer)
Graveside services for William A. Collins Jr., 39, of 2013 N. E. Fourth, Blue Springs, Missouri, who died Wednesday from a fall from a construction scaffold, will be at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Blue Springs Cemetery. Memorial services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Blue Springs RLDS church.
Mr. Collins, who was born in Glasgow, Montana, was a learning disabilities teacher in the Blue Springs School District, at Thomas Ultican Elementary School, for the past three years. He held a bachelor's degree in physical education and psychology from Northwest Missouri State University and a master's degree in counseling from the University of Iowa. He had lived in Blue Springs for four years.
His death came while he was working as an employee of Custom Fabrication Co., Owensboro, Kentucky, on a building being constructed in St. Joseph, Missouri.
He was a high priest in Blue Springs RLDS Church.
Police said William A Collins was working on the outside of a secondary digester, a high cone-shaped structure containing sewage treatment equipment. He was pronounced dead at a St. Joseph hospital.
Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Ruthann Collins, of the home, a son, William Andrew (Andy) Collins III, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Collins, Spokane, Washington; two brothers, Gary Collins, Lamoni, Iowa and Larry Collins, Spokane, Washington.
Services were under the direction of Speaks Chapel.
Internment was in the Blue Springs Cemetery.
"Wedding to Be in April
The engagement of Ruthann Browne to William Andrew Collins, Jr. is announced by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. R. Edwin Browne, 900 Schwarz Rd. Mr. Collins is the son of Mr. and Mrs. William Collins of Spokane, Wash.
Miss Browne, who was graduated with highest distinction from Kansas University in 1970, teaches first and second grade in Lincoln School at Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Her fiance, a graduate of Northwest Missouri State College, Maryville, teaches physical education at Tyler School in Cedar Rapids and spends the summers as a park ranger at Yosemite National Park.
They plan to be married April 4, in the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1900 University Dr."
Billy married Ruthann (Browne) Collins and they had a son "Andy".
William Andrew Jr. Collins was the grandson of Walter Peter Vick and Rebecca Christine "Ruby" (Rasmussen) Vick.
Bill & Irene Collins had three children.
William Andrew Jr. Collins., Gary and Larry.
The Walt and Ruby Vick family of 11 children.
Leroy Leland Vick
Lucile Lillian (Vick) Tastad
Constance Beatrice (Vick) Tufte
Cleve Leighton Vick
Vernon Romain Vick
Harold Walter Vick
Norris Laverne Vick
Wayne Kenard Vick
Ruby Irene (Vick) Collins
Loyal Emanuel Vick
Leonard Morris Vick
A tribute to William Andrew Collins, Jr., written by his mother upon the occasion of his death on August 17, 1977, and published in the official newsletter of the Spokane (WA) District.
Bill Collins, Sr., and Irene were members of the Southside Branch of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at the time.
We have tasted "the oil of joy for mourning," in the experience of losing our oldest son, William Andrew Collins, Jr., who died as the result of a fall on a construction job August 17, 1977. This was a stunning blow, when the news first came, then as we called on God, words that Bill had expressed many times in recent months came to us, "Mom, I just want to work full-time for the Lord." I was given the knowledge that, now, he could work full-time for the Lord, that there was a reason why he was taken, and that he was now with his Lord, doing the work that he wished to do, and is happy.
My prayer, from the time that I received the news of Bill's death, was that through this we would be able to glorify God, and this thought was uppermost in our planning for the service.
His pastor gave the talk, which was a challenge to everyone there to let this experience cause them to examine their own lives. I quote his closing remarks.
"Some have asked where the meaning is in a tragedy such as this. Jesus Christ would have you know that your lives, and mine, are the meaning! In Christ's gentle hands, Bill Collins can once again be the true minister of this hour. If reflecting on his death has caused us to take hope in the resurrection, if it has caused us to repent and rearrange our lives for Christ, this one man's death will have profound significance, indeed. Please do not allow this observance to become a formality. Don't walk out of here this morning untouched, hard-hearted, investing in goals which terminate with the grave. Let Bill Collins serve you. He'd have wanted no less than the Christ's will. And that will , is that you choose LIFE, ETERNAL LIFE. So be it."
All through this service, I had a feeling of triumph. I feel sure that I can identify with Mary on the resurrection morning, because I know that in Jesus Christ there is no death. That we pass from life to life and that Bill had a triumphant entry into his new found life.
Letter to Billie from his wife,
Ruthann Collins, August 20, 1977
Dear Sweet Billy,
As you can see today, so many of those whose lives you have touched are here ready to worship and to come in the thanksgiving that you are at last with your very best friend, The Christ.
Thank you for sharing your earthly life with all of us. Thank you for having allowed God's spirit to grow fervently and buoyantly within you so that you were able to minister abundantly among all of God's creation that you have known. Thank you for your unselfish spirit. Thank you for teaching us that putting others ahead of ourselves is the surest way to Kingdom building. As your brother Larry has said, your business is people. You have always listened. You have comforted. You have rejoiced. And you have known sorrow so great, especially at one point in your earthly life that Christ has allowed you to be in His presence at the foot of the cross, to sense His mission to humanity and to sense His reassurance that firstly and lastly you belong to Him.
I see you walking arm in arm with Christ. I see you at last at peace knowing that the innermost desires of your heart are being fulfilled. Once you came to me and, resting your hands on my shoulders poured out your soul in these few words: "Ruthann, I just want to work for the Lord." What a marvelous opportunity you have now at your disposal. I must rejoice at this time knowing that you are performing ministry which excels any you could have foreseen on earth.
Billie, you have given me endless memories of love and devotion between husband and wife and father and son. Andy's life will be blessed because of the unique heritage that is his. He has cherished you as his earthly father, and I pledge before God and you and friends that everything in my power will be done to help him continue to grow in his innocent and sweet knowledge of Jesus. As you know, Andy has taught us preciously of life and love's blessings. I rejoice in the thanksgiving that God brought us together and gave us six wonderful years. How supportive you have constantly been of me. How earnestly and completely you have loved me. Thank you with all my heart.
As I once said to you. "your world is my world, Bill" so this close experience of new life after life has taught me that our world is God's world and He is in charge. His purposes can not be frustrated and out of my sadness comes the thanksgiving that I have come closer to that faith and that desire to do my part to usher in the Kingdom. I have felt your comforting presence and your new found happiness enveloping me and testifying of your triumphance.
Help me to be strong, Billie. Help me to forget selfish feelings.
Thank you for sharing your life with me, my husband.
Forever in love, Your Ruthann
Social Security Death Index
Name: William Collins
Born: 24 Jun 1938
Died: Aug 1977
State (Year) SSN issued: Washington (1954)
William Andrew Collins (1911 - 2001)
Ruby Irene Vick Collins (1915 - 1999)
Blue Springs Cemetery
Created by: Roger Vick
Record added: May 26, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 19533444