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 Rudolph Ross “Rudy” Collins

Photo added by Annie Duckett Hundley

Rudolph Ross “Rudy” Collins

  • Birth 16 Aug 1924 Kalispell, Flathead County, Montana, USA
  • Death 10 Dec 2012 Leavenworth, Chelan County, Washington, USA
  • Burial Missoula, Missoula County, Montana, USA
  • Memorial ID 102113162

VETERAN
US ARMY
BATTLE OF THE BULGE
POW

LEAVENWORTH, Wash. – Our loved and very special father Rudy Collins passed away Monday, Dec. 10, 2012, in Leavenworth, Wash. Rudy was born to Olga and Grover Collins in Kalispell on Aug. 16, 1924. He was the youngest of five children and the last of his siblings (Ellsworth, Genevieve, Oscar and Marcella) to survive.

Rudy graduated from high school in Florence and in 1942 started at the University of Montana. After completing his freshman year, he was drafted in the U.S. Army in 1943. He volunteered for the Airborne Service and served in Company C of the 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 17th Airborne Division.

During his service, Rudy fought in the Battle of the Bulge in the winter of 1944-45 and on Jan. 4, 1945, he was taken prisoner by the Germans. On May 8, 1945, his camp was liberated. Rudy was discharged Sgt. Rudolph R. Collins with the following decorations and citations: Good Conduct Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, American Theater Ribbon, European African Middle Eastern Campaign Ribbon with three bronze stars, World War II Victory Medal, Purple Heart, Bronze Star for Gallantry in Action, Presidential Unit Citation and the Prisoner of War Medal.

After returning to civilian life, Rudy returned to UM and lettered in basketball and track. He worked at several jobs including owning a Texaco garage, a Coca-Cola route salesman, car salesman for Manion Motors in Kalispell and Libby, and, finally, truck sales manager at DeMarois GMC. He was always at the top of the sales program and was a GMC grand master for 11 years. He retired in 1986 and moved to his Lincoln home with his wife, Valerie. In 1993, Valerie passed away and Rudy moved back to Missoula.

Rudy loved the outdoors, hunting, fishing and hiking. He officiated for the Montana High School Basketball Association for 23 years. He golfed all his life, played fast-pitch softball and was an avid bowler. His softball team won the state championship in 1949 and was inducted into the Montana Softball Hall of Fame in 1989. He was a devoted Grizzly football fan, attending his last Bobcat-Grizzly game in November of this year.

In 1994, Rudy married Grace Vaughn and they have been living in Leavenworth ever since. Rudy is survived by Grace; son, Ellsworth (and Sue) Collins of Richland, Wash.; daughter, Maureen (and David) Froehlich of Missoula; five stepchildren; and numerous grandchildren, great-granchildren, great-great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

He was our rock and we knew he always had our back.

A memorial will be held in the spring on the Montana Grizzly Oval when a brick will be laid there in his honor.

-Source: Missoulian, 13 & 18 Dec 2012.


Family Members


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  • Created by: Annie Duckett Hundley
  • Added: 13 Dec 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 102113162
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Rudolph Ross “Rudy” Collins (16 Aug 1924–10 Dec 2012), Find A Grave Memorial no. 102113162, citing Missoula Cemetery, Missoula, Missoula County, Montana, USA ; Maintained by Annie Duckett Hundley (contributor 47394373) .