OBITUARY

Jerry Collins

July 21, 1938February 24, 2012

Gerald "Jerry" Collins, age 73, left the loving arms of his extensive family on Friday, Feb. 24, after fighting "the Big C" to a draw for more than seven years. Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Blanche Collins, and brothers Milburn, Robert, Harold, and Raymond. He is survived by brother Earl Collins, and our mom, Barbara Green, mother of his three children and a large part of Dad's heart and life for close to 60 years. He is survived by his children Amber Maddux, Amy Riddle and Lance Collins. He is survived by 11 grandchildren - PJ Proske, Joshua Dams, Joey Proske, Tara Walters, Jason Dams, Katy Collins, Johnny Maddux, Nikki Wells, Roger Wells, Dylan Collins and Wyatt Collins. Dad also had 15 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his companion in later years, Velma Isbell. Jerry was born in Houston on July 21, 1938, and lived in Houston all of his life. He was a sheet metal mechanic his entire career and no one could cut duct the way he could. Jerry had a work ethic like no one else and taught his children to take care of your work first. Jerry was a man's man and carried himself with class and dignity. He accepted you on your terms, the way you were, and expected the same in return. Jerry touched everyone who knew him, with a kindness and sincerity that made it clear that he cared. He was the cornerstone in the lives of Barbara and his children, and will forever be missed. A viewing will be held Monday from 5 to 8 PM at Earthman Funeral Home, 13102 North Freeway. The funeral service will be at 2:30, Tuesday at Earthman. All those who knew Jerry and were touched by him are invited to attend.

Services

  • Visitation Monday, February 27, 2012
  • Celebration of Life Tuesday, February 28, 2012
REMEMBERING

Jerry Collins

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Betty Collins Biggerstaff

March 28, 2012

Thanks for the efforts. I found Lance's phone number and address, and I will have the pics made tomorrow and forward to him. Thanks. BB

Betty Collins Biggerstaff

March 28, 2012

I have some pictures for Susan and Lance Collins. I have lost his home address to which I can mail the pictures. Would someone be so kind as to call me 936 564 6501, or email me at jbb_1961@yahoo.com so that I might forward these pictures. Thanks.

March 21, 2012

I love you my daddy, and I miss you more and more everyday..I pray you know how much you meant to me..If I only had to chance to do it all over again..I would spend so much time with you...Help me to be strong my daddy..See you again one day...Love you...

Barbara Jo Collins Green

March 9, 2012

Michael Young

March 1, 2012

Remember to celebrate his life and not focus just on the day he passed.

Barbara Jo Collins Green

February 29, 2012

Our son's eulogy to his father below. He read this at the funeral.

Thanks for coming. Before I begin, please join me in a prayer and repeat after me.

“Dear God, please don't let Lance cry”.

You know, when a great celebrity or distinguished figure passes away, they will often say that it's the passing of a legend. My dad was no celebrity or sports hero, but there's no doubt that to many of you in this room he was a legend in every sense of the word. Television is full of reality shows these days, and many of them, such as Jersey Shore, The Kardashians, and Real Housewives of Atlanta, feature people who have done nothing special and are undeserving of esteem. If I saw any of them at a party I wouldn't want to spend two minutes with them. They should make shows that feature people like my dad. I got to spend a lifetime with him and it wasn't enough.

I don't know some of you, and I can't possibly know what my dad meant to all of you, but I think I can speak in a general sense to what your impression of him was. My dad was a man‘s man. He was a rugged man, a tough man, an old school man. When my dad walked in you knew that a true “man“ had just entered the room. To my dad, a man knew that a 3/8s socket was bigger than a 5/16. He knew how to give himself a good shave, and the value of a firm handshake. He may not have worn the same clothes as a business man, but his jeans had more starch than the business man‘s entire wardrobe. And his boots had a shine that you could see your reflection in, a shine that he put on them himself. My dad didn't have an arrogant bone in his body, but he carried himself in a way that shouted character and commanded respect. He accepted all people as they were and on their terms, and, importantly, expected the same. He could talk to anyone, and everyone who knew him formed a bond with him.

My dad liked his morning paper and a cup of coffee. He also liked a cold beer among other men like him. In fact, I remember a night, about twenty years ago. My friend Jeff Holdaway had moved to an apartment near NASA, and I drove down one Friday night to go run the street with Jeff and grab a few cold ones. I don't remember a lot of details about that night but we bounced from one bar to another down in that area. Finally, we ended up at some out of the way, hole-in-the-wall bar near the water. This wasn't a bar where you'd go to dance, or drink a fine microbrew. It wasn't a singles hangout and there was no valet parking out front. This was a bar where you'd go to knock back several long necks and shoot a game of pool. It was the kind of place where there were a few broken pool sticks, the result of being laid across someone's head. In other words, it was a man's man kind of bar. Jeff and I grabbed a table and had a few. At one point Jeff elbowed me and motioned toward the door. “Look, Boofer just walked in”. Now mind you, we were 60 or 70 miles from Atascocita where my dad lived. But it was his kind of place, and looking back it probably shouldn't surprise me that he knew of the place and happened to stop by. I can promise you that the last round that Jeff and I bought before my dad walked in, was the last round we paid for that night. I can also promise you something else. Dad had at least two of the following on him that night, and maybe all three: a pocket knife in his pocket, a wad of one hundred dollar bills that would choke a horse , likely in his boot, and possibly a pistol in the other boot.

I also want to tell you what my dad meant to me. My dad taught me how to shoot craps and play poker, but he also taught a skinny blond-haired little boy to ride a bike and, later, a motorcycle. My dad taught me that you treat a lady like a lady, and open her door for her. He taught me that you don't use profanity in the presence of a lady and you let the offending party know how you felt if they did. My dad taught me that you don't call in sick unless you're sick. It was that work ethic that that he instilled in me that is the reason I've had one sick day in more than 22 years. He taught me that you take care of your work first, and you do a good job before you call it a day. I started a new job three weeks ago and have been deeply involved in training. I truly believe that it was no coincidence that Dad waited until Friday evening, when my work was done and I'd left the office, before he finally called it a day. That would have been so much like him.

My dad, though he was a tough man, also taught me that it was okay to cry, if the situation warranted it. But somehow for guys like my dad, the situation rarely called for it. I saw him cry maybe three or four times in my entire life.

When I first went off to Texas A&M I had a statistics class. When midterm grades came out I was doing okay in my other classes but was failing statistics. Shortly after my grades made it to my parent's mailbox, the phone rang, and my mom proceeded to light into me like a cornered raccoon. She threw everything at me that she could think of. When she was finished, she put Dad on so that he could pick up where she left off – like wrestlers tagging up so that the other guy could come in and finish the job. Dad got on the phone and I braced for the worst. What I got instead was my dad crying and telling me that he didn't want to see me have to struggle and do backbreaking work the rest of my life, like he'd done. He told me his dreams for me, and that I was too good to fail at anything. I hit the books like my life depended on it, and on the next test I made the 3rd highest grade in the class, out of about 200 students. I brought my grade up to a B and it was one of the most impressive feats that I think I ever accomplished – but Dad really deserves some of the credit.

My dad enjoyed a night on the town but I know that he also loved being a father. About six years ago, after he'd already been diagnosed with cancer, I had to have a colonoscopy performed. It's an outpatient procedure and no big deal. I mentioned it, just in passing to my dad and he said, “Do you need me to come take you”? Now keep in mind, I was 42 years old at time. But the next morning, at 5 AM, there was his truck out in front of the house. And when the procedure was over, there he was in the waiting room, reading his paper, ready to drive me home. He did it because he loved me and he loved being a dad. He also loved his grandchildren, and his great grandchildren. There were many pictures that we came across in the past few days of him holding one baby or another, but in all of them he had a smile on his face like he'd won the lottery.

I've been reasonably successful in my life and have a few accomplishments that I'm proud of. A few of you may even think highly of me. But my mom and dad deserve 100% of the credit. If I've accomplished anything, or am any kind of a good person, it's all due to them and the character that they instilled in me, which is really the greatest thing that a parent can accomplish. And it's Dad's true legacy. My dad had the fierceness of a lion and the gentleness of a lamb. He could strike fear in any man, but had the heart of an angel. To those younger folks in the family, the grandchildren, let Pappy live inside of you. Lead your life in a way that would make him proud. Don't do it because you're trying to please him though. My dad wasn't the kind of man that he was because he was trying to impress anyone, or live up to anyone else's standards. After all, my dad's standards were already higher than most. Make yourself proud, and Pappy will be proud alongside you.

Life is often measured in years, but I think it should be measured in volume. An immense amount of life flowed through my father – by what went in and what came out. That's how life should be measured, not with a calendar.

You know, in the past few years, as I neared my late 40s and developed a few wrinkles in my face, I've heard more and more, “Boy, you sure remind me of your dad”. We should all be so lucky.


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Betty Collins Biggerstaff

February 29, 2012

As I was viewing the slide show, there is a picture that was taken c. 1940. Uncle Lee Collins is holding Betty Sue Collins. Earl is next. Raymond is holding Jerry Buford. Standing in back with the suspenders, is Woodrow Jordan, husband of Claudia Collins Jordan. Standing next to Woodrow is Curtis E. Collins, my dad. Just thought some of the younger ones would like to know it is all family.

February 28, 2012

Barbara, Amber, Amy and Lance,

You and your families are all in my prayers. Jerry was a wonderful man. Everyone who knew him, loved him. My family and I have lots of sweet memories of Jerry and they will always be in our hearts. Jerry fought hard and is now in a better place. Probably laughing at us all. Please let me know if there is anything you need or anything I can do. I am here. Please know that the pain and emptness you feel will get better and you all have a special angel watching over you. Jerry will always be a part of our lives because he will always be in our hearts.

Love,
Vicki

Barbara Jo Collins/Green

February 28, 2012

To our three children........as your Dad has fun in Heaven with all his loved ones who went before him and as he laughs with the angels, he also is keeping a close eye on you three. You now have a guardian angel in Heaven who you call Daddy. There are no tears in heaven so he is fine. All my love from your Momma.

Julian Perez

February 28, 2012

On behalf of our family, we offer our deepest condolences. May you find comfort knowing that his suffering is over and that he is at peace with our Lord and Saviour. God Bless you all,
Julian Sr, Melissa, Julian Jr. and Celeste Perez