Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home & Hillcrest Mausoleum & Memorial Park
7405 West Northwest Highway, Dallas, TX
Tommy J Collier
May 7, 1936 – May 20, 2019
Tom (Tommy) J. Collier, resident of Dallas, TX, passed away on May 20, 2019, at the age of 83. He was born on May 7, 1936, to R.F. Collier and Minnie Lee Massey in the front bedroom of his Grandmother’s house in the community of Friendship, TX, located near Temple, TX. His family moved to Austin, TX, when he was a young teenager. He became a Texas Longhorn almost immediately and that loyalty remained all of his life. Six weeks after a “blind” date, Tom and Virginia married. The date was November of 1959, Friday the 13th. As they both loved to say… 59 years, six months and one week.
Tom began his career in television one day in the summer of 1954 by walking into the Driskill Hotel in Austin, TX, which was home to KTBC Television, Channel 7, owned by Lady Byrd Johnson. He advanced to KCEN TV located in Temple-Waco, TX. In 1966, he received a call from KDFW-CBS in Dallas where he worked in the Sales Department. When he reached his 25 year mark, Tom determined to become involved with antiques sales and estate liquidations. So, he became an importer of English antiques which he sold at The Snider Plaza Antiques Shops, Antique Row and Roundtop’s Marburger Farm Show. Tom also loved to travel. From Australia to China to Italy to Greece, then on to France, Spain, and Belgium. He and Virginia were in East Germany, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia one month after the wall came down. They toured Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. They spent Virginia’s 60th birthday in Bora Bora. Hawaii and England were their favorite destinations for many years.
The last great adventure undertaken by Tom was “The Farm,” a 100 year old house with 11 acres that Tom mowed in sections creating a five-day mowing week. After the house was finished, the move for permanent residency occurred. Tom loved to work outside planting and growing (or attempting to grow) fruit trees. Neighbors accused him of trying to create a “Private Park!” It was a beautiful sight.
Always a strong advocate for church work, Tom was a consummate usher. At Highland Park UMC he became an 8 and 9:30 service volunteer almost immediately after joining the church. He served the 9:30 service eventually as lead usher. In 2012, the Collier’s moved their membership to Commerce FUMC and Tom once again became an usher.
As his body began to fail and give way to Vascular Dementia, Tom found it difficult to enjoy associations with old friends. Names, then words disappeared, followed by the ability to walk which put him permanently in a wheelchair. Despite all this, his faith never diminished.
Services for Tom will be held on Friday, May 24th at 10am in Cox Chapel at Highland Park United Methodist Church, followed by burial at Hillcrest Memorial Park. There will be a reception following the burial at Sparkman/Hillcrest where family will greet friends. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Courtyard Christian Care Center at 950 Wiggins Parkway, Mesquite, TX 75150, or the Highland Park United Methodist Church in Tommy's honor.
- Funeral Service Friday, May 24, 2019
Tommy J Collier
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Nancy & David Eldridge
May 24, 2019
Virginia, so sorry to hear about Tom's passing. We were not able to attend the funeral; I am sure that it was lovely.
We fondly remember all the good times together...especially the Christmas parties that you and Tom gave...always fun!
Glad that you two were able to restore the house in East Texas...I know that gave Tom a lot of pleasure.
We will miss him.
Nancy & David Eldridge
Diane and William Duffy
May 22, 2019
We are saddened to hear of Tommy's passing and send our Condolences to Virginia and the family. As neighbors of the Collier's we loved watching Tommy mow their beautiful acres on the weekends. As members of the FUMC-Commerce, we always looked forward to Tommy's beautiful smile ushering the Congregation or passing the basket. He will remain in our hearts and family in our prayers.
May 22, 2019
When Mr. Tommy came to our facility here at Christian Care (The Courtyard). Approximately one and half months of being here, he was constantly reaching for things with his hands, untying his shoes and removing his foot pedals from his wheel chair! One day he reached for the leaves in the carpet and unfortunately tipped his chair over, thank God he did not hurt himself! So this one particular morning he started reaching for those leaves again, I said "O Lord please help me to think of something to take his mind off of bending over in his wheelchair." I ran into our med room and flung open the bottom cabinet to hopefully find something, which I did, an old clock radio with buttons that could be pressed and clicked on and off. I went back to Mr. Tommy with that old radio and told him "I need you to fix this for me, I heard you were good with your hands at fixing things." He took that old radio from me and I sat him at the nurses station and told him it was his work station. Mr. Tommy pushed and clicked buttons until he got tired, he definitely tried his best to get that old clock running!!! I looked back at him and he started to doze off, I patted on his work station and said to him " Mr. Tommy you are gonna get fired for sleeping on the job," he chuckled at me. I'm sure you all remember that chuckle of a laugh he had. Although he was not with us long here at The Courtyard we ALL bonded with him in our own special way! So I would like to say on behalf of the staff here at Christian Care-The Courtyard,.....It was Our Biggest Pleasure to have had the opportunity to get to know and care for Mr. Tommy Collier!!! And to Mrs. Virginia, Kathy, and Son we send Our Deepest Sympathy and Prayers to You All!!! May God Bless And Keep You ALL!!! Love to You All...Salina, Charlotte, Monica, Velva, Murliene, Stephanie, Tatianna, Mary, and Sakinat.