William Lloyd “Bill” Collins, age 98, of New London, Ohio, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Tuesday, February 14, 2023, at Fisher-Titus Medical Center in Norwalk.
Bill was born on May 24, 1924, in Northern Kentucky, the youngest child of the late William Riley and Anna (Mitchell) Collins.
A World War II Veteran, Bill proudly served his country in the U.S. Army from 1943 – 1947. He served in Okinawa, Japan and Seoul, Korea during the war. He was a gunner on a half-track and then a Provost Marshal, training soldiers to be Military Police.
While on a short leave from the Army, Bill met a young woman, the instantaneous love of his life, Zinia Hall. Three weeks later, on March 16, 1946, they were married in Pikeville, Kentucky, and shared over 63 wonderful years together before she preceded him in death on April 1, 2009.
Bill worked for E. Bigelow Tile Company in New London until the day it closed. He then worked for Janesville Products in Norwalk, from where he retired. Following retirement, he worked part time for the Firelands Electric Cooperative until he was 85 ½.
A man of devout faith, Bill attended the Old Regular Baptist Church and made sure to read his Bible every night.
Outdoors was Bill’s favorite place to be. He loved mowing his lawn and tending to his large vegetable garden. He was able to grow a garden every year until he was 92. Bill always helped his neighbors with anything they needed including mowing their lawn and shoveling sidewalks and driveways. He was often found tinkering with projects in the garage or in the house. Bill had a special knack for remembering numbers and dates of events. You could ask him when he bought a certain car or anything else, and he was able to give you that answer.
Bill enjoyed watching Kentucky basketball, Major League Baseball and old westerns. He spent countless hours completing word searches in his recliner. Bill liked going to car shows and took great pride in his 1977 Monte Carlo.
Everyone knew Bill as an extremely hard working, honest man who went about his day with a pleasant smile on his face. He may have not had a lot to say most of the time, but he truly cherished the company of family and friends. Bill loved being around his big family for holidays, celebrations, and family get-togethers that were held in his home. He had quite the sweet tooth and loved indulging in desserts at these gatherings. He looked forward to family reunions and trips to Kentucky.
Bill got so close to reaching his goal of making it 100 years, but he is now overjoyed to be reunited with his wife. We were all very blessed to have known such a wonderful man: our dad, our grandpa, our friend.
Left to cherish Bill’s memory are four children: son, William Collins, Jr. of Wichita Falls, TX and Yasothon, Thailand, son, Bob (Jeanene) Collins of Wellington, OH, daughter, Delores (John) Kline of New London, OH, son, Michael (Debbie) Collins of Lexington, OH; 13 grandchildren: Suriyan (Ana) Collins of Ewa Beach, HI, Jamie (Mike) Rich of Wichita Falls, TX, Amy (Mike) Varnadoe of Benbrook, TX, Brian (Missy) Collins of Four Oaks, NC, Bobbi Jean (Brian) Forrest of North Augusta, SC, Rachael Kline, of New York, NY, Laura (Jeremy) Howard of New London, OH, Ryan (Angela) Collins of Sunbury, OH, Shannon Collins of Columbus, OH, Erica (Luke) Kiger of Lexington, OH, Brett (Breanna) Collins of Mansfield, OH, Stacey (Harvey) Zook of Mansfield, OH, Branden (Amber) Collins of Crestline, OH; 22 great grandchildren with another on the way; 3 great-great grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and loved ones.
In addition to his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by a son, Garry “Beak” Collins; daughter-in-law, Urai Collins; 10 brothers: John B., Dewey, Irwin, Rousie, Oscar, Andy, Curt, Joey, Edgar “Ted” Collins, and an infant brother; and six sisters: Ida Hamilton, Susie Kimbler, Liz McKinney, Melvinie Collins, Judie Collins and Margaret Nunemaker.
Bill’s family will greet friends from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Monday, February 20, and again from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 21, at Eastman Funeral Home, 200 W. Main St., New London. Services to honor and celebrate his life will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 21, 2023. Burial with military honors will follow in Ashland County Memorial Park. Expressions of sympathy may be shared with the family at www.eastmanfuneralhome.com.
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