Funeral mass was at 1:30PM, Monday, May 11, at Grace Lutheran Church with Father Ray as the celebrant and Sister Vivian as the commentator; Pastor Kendall Stelter gave a greeting; Kyler Collins read Isaiah 61:10-11 and II Corinthians 4:16-5:8, Karen Collins read Psalm 23, and Carol Hansen read the poem, "Death Is Nothing At All"; organist, Joan Zaiser accompanied Kelsey Collins singing "You Raise Me Up", Jon Wager singing "The Lord's Prayer" and "Danny Boy" and the singing of "Here I Am Lord" and "Amazing Grace." Ronnie Erickson, Merril Johnson, Don Martinson, Lloyd Olson, Doc Skordal and Paul Sorby were honorary casketbearers and Mike Erickson, Duane Hastad, Kurt Hubbard, Dale Kemen, Jeff Liebl and Dean Martinson were active casketbearers. Interment was in the Dawson Cemetery.
Thomas Joseph Collins was born to David and Mary (McMahon) Collins on July 15, 1929, in rural Kerkhoven, Minnesota. He grew up in the Kerkhoven and Murdock areas, attending school in Murdock. On April 19, 1949, he was united in marriage to Doris A. Sather of Benson. Together they raised seven children in several communities throughout southwestern Minnesota. Tom was not only a devoted husband and father, but was active in every community in which he lived. He participated in the Lion's Club, local politics, business development, and various church councils.
Tom's lifelong career in the grain industry began in 1952, and ended with his retirement in 1994. He held managerial positions in Herman, Ruthton, Cottonwood, Lamberton/Wabasso and Dawson. He was a long-time member of the Western Grainmens Association, serving as Secretary and President, and served for several years on the Board of Directors of AG Processing, Inc. (AGP), based in Omaha, Nebraska. As a teenager and young adult, Tom excelled at boxing as a fly weight with the Golden Gloves and remained a life long fan of the sport. He was also an avid fan of the Minnesota Twins and Vikings. Tom enjoyed several hobbies, including golfing, playing cards, and dancing with his favorite dance partner, his wife, Doris. Some of his other talents included lightning speed lawn mowing and throwing a baseball so high that to a child's eye it would disappear. His ability to coin a phrase was in Yogi Berra's league.
After battling Alzheimer's for six years, Tom left us on Thursday evening, May 7, 2009, at the age of 79 years, 9 months, and 20 days..
He is survived by two sisters: Ronnie (Evan) Olson of Wheaton, MN, and Madge Osterbauer of Buffalo, MN; seven children: Laurie Etrheim of Ramsey, MN, Nancy Collins of New York, NY, Kevin (Carol) Collins of St. Paul, MN, Sandy (Ken) Stone of Minneapolis, MN, Debbie (Jeff) Moe of Dawson, MN, Kurt (Karen) Collins of Dawson, MN, and Kim Collins of Anoka, MN; seven grandchildren: Holly, Tracey, Lydia, Norah, Kelsey, Kyler and Willa; and five great-grandchildren: Annabelle, Emma, Johnathon, Tea and Noelle.
Preceding him in death were his parents; wife, Doris on April 1, 1999; and five brothers and two sisters.