On Saturday, September 12, 2020 William Collins, loving husband of 60 years to Karlene Collins passed away.
Bill was born on March 25, 1936 to James Grady and Jennie Lou Collins. He was raised on Edisto Island, SC and called it home. He was a driven young man always pushing himself. He grew up working the tomato and tobacco fields on the island. He managed to rise up through Boy Scouts and achieve Eagle Scout and Scout Master designations. Two of his proudest accomplishments. He went onto graduate from Mars Hill College. He then proudly served his country in the United States Army at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.
It was there he met Karlene Collins. They married in 1961. Upon completion of his discharge, Bill attended and graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He had a job after graduation with Western Electric doing Naval defense contract work. He was proud to work on projects such as The Spartan Missile project in Kwajalein, Marshall Islands. He was part of the team developing cutting edge Sonar defense systems off the a Japanese Coast, and working the Minutemen Missile Shilohs In North Dakota. He managed to be a great father and husband through all of this.
Bill had a passion for his garden and had fruit trees everywhere! He was an avid coin collector, read voraciously! He took amazing pride in grilling, making his ribs , even if it was a fried bologna sandwich~ his food was art! He adored his grandchildren ~ Jackson and Anna Grace! Everything was set aside for time with them!
He loved to eat! No teeth did not slow him down! He loved and regularly asked for Red Lobster , packaged honey buns, Pringle’s, all Hostess and Little Debbie Products. There was never an oyster roast he wasn’t the 1st to arrive at or last man standing. He “loved a good party!” He was usually the center of attention. He gave advice only when asked. Never watered down or disguised. You knew exactly where you standed. His sense of humor was dry and he kept people laughing and sometimes wondering, his wit was sharp. People always felt better after being in his presence. He had a gift for making people feel special, seen and heard. His special gift.
My Dad chose to live his life “My Way”, everyday. ~ Elvis Pressley
Bill Collins is survived by the love of his life, wife of 60 years, Karlene Collins. His loving daughter Melissa Leslie , his son in law Sam Leslie and twin Grandchildren Jackson and Anna Grace Leslie.
Mr. Collins is also survived by daughter Michele Collins Vergara and her son Gabriel.
In Lieu of flowers, please give to The Charleston Chapter of The Alzheizmer’s Association.
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