Robert Lee “Bob” Collins went peacefully to be with the Lord on September 15, 2021 while holding the hand of his son “Pup”. He was born on January 7, 1951, son of Henry Harrison and Garnett Jewell Collins of Grayson, Kentucky. He was proceeded in death by his three sisters, Kimberly Collins, Kathy Jean Collins, Carolyn Elam and two brothers, Larry Collins and Billy Collins. He leaves behind his beloved wife and the love of his life of twenty-four years, Lidia. He is survived by his beloved sisters Karen (Ronald) Burton of Grayson, KY and Debbie Stringfellow of Beaufort, SC, beloved brother Rex (Sheila) Collins of La Fayette, GA, beloved daughter Jessica Grace Alverta Collins (Chad Parsons), beloved son Christopher Lee (Melissa) Collins, and a host of family and friends. He also leaves behind his four beautiful grandchildren, Emily Grace Elizabeth Parsons “Poppy’s Angel”, Gavin Lee Russell Parsons, “Gavino”, Jackson Lee Collins “Jack-Jack”, and Isla Reece Collins “Poppy’s Girl”. Of all his worldly accomplishments, the one that brought the most joy was the achievement of becoming a grandfather. He was a great “Poppy” to his grandchildren and loved them unconditionally. Through camping trips, fishing adventures, story telling, stock market discussions, and math lessons, he took the time to make each child feel special and loved. In return, these grandbabies loved their Poppy unconditionally. They looked forward to every chance to have “Poppy time”.
Bob was, and will also be, an inspiration to his family and friends for his passion for pursing a dream, that to many, seemed impossible. In his twenties, he cultivated a passion for flying airplanes that drove him, or more appropriately, flew him from his home in Grayson, Kentucky to destinations throughout the country and the world. In his career, he piloted aircraft for Shaker Coal Company, Piedmont Airlines, Midway Airlines, Reno Air and ultimately retired from American Airlines in 2011. He shared his love of aviation with many friends and with his own son, who would later pursue a dream to become a fighter pilot on the F-35 Lightning II for the United States Air Force. Bob was an avid adventurer who loved the thrill of riding his motorcycle cross-country with his gang of motorcycle friends. He loved the outdoors and he loved to fish. He was a “fish-or-die” kind of fisherman. He would awake at five-o’clock in the morning, eat a granola bar for breakfast, Spam for lunch, fish until dark, and do it again day after day. He would spend weeks each summer taking his children on adventures to many of the world’s greatest places on earth, including Glacier National Park, Yosemite Valley, and the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. And, in these moments of walking logs across streams, wading through chest-deep swollen rivers, and fishing alongside rivers patrolled by grizzly bears, he passed a thirst of adventure on to his children. This love for wild spaces would later inspire his daughter to embark on solo-backpacking trips through the mountains of New Zealand and Patagonia.
Bob believed in the power of positive thinking and in the power of manifesting one’s destiny. This is exactly what he did the day he first saw his beautiful wife, Lidia. After noticing Lidia at an airport terminal, he said to a friend, “Excuse me. I need to go meet my future wife”. They quickly fell in love, married, and made their home in Reno, Nevada. Throughout the years, the two shared many adventures, wonderful friendship, companionship, and quality time. Together, they enjoyed life to the fullest and shared the simple things together. At the end of each day, they would take time to sit together, share their day, their blessings and watch the sunset. Many of us could learn a few lessons from the life of Bob Collins. If he could say one thing to us today about his life, it would be “Carpe diem”. Seize the day. Seize the day to pursue your life’s dream. Seize the day to enjoy each moment. Seize the day to hold closely the ones you love.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, October 24, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. at 400 Womstead Drive, Grayson, Kentucky.