Born in Roxbury, Connecticut, Lt. Col. Raymond John Collins, age 87 years, died in Greenville, North Carolina on May 7, 2023, in the presence of loving family after a brief illness.
A graduate of Bridgewater Elementary, New Milford High, the University of Connecticut, the University of Cincinnati, he served his country as one of the twelve original Bio-Environmental Engineers in the US Air Force. He later worked as an Industrial Engineer at Mead-Johnson in Evansville, Indiana.
He married the love of his life, Dorothy Williams (Redding, Connecticut) and for 48 years until her death, they laughed their way around the world, made babies, doted on their grandbabies, cooked up a storm in the kitchen, sailed the lakes of Kentucky and the Intercoastal Waterway, never let birdies or pars spoil their fun, and walked the beaches of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, which he called home for 22 years.
In addition to his beloved, he is preceded in death by his parents, John and Rebecca Collins, of Bridgewater, Connecticut. He is survived by his sister, Janice Putnam; his brother Robert Collins; his three children, Cheryl (Kenny) Patterson, Craig (Keleigh) Collins, Christine (Todd) Bolus, his ten grandchildren, Sarah, Alexandra, Rachel, Bannor, Grace (Timothy), John Craig, Mack, Joshua, Hannah Cate, and Faith; his two great-grandchildren, Rayne and Elise; and several nieces and nephews.
The family is grateful to the healthcare professionals at Physicians East (Dr. Steve Hampstead and Dr. Maria Picton) and ECU Health Medical Center for their extraordinary expertise, compassion and care.
A Celebration of Life will be held at First Presbyterian Church of Hilton Head, 540 William Hilton Pkwy, Hilton Head Island SC 29928 at 10am on Friday, May 19, 2023, with burial to occur at Beaufort National Cemetery, 1601 Boundary Street, Beaufort SC 29902 at 1pm.
A man of faith who walked a path of kindness and loyalty, Ray is dearly missed. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution to First Presbyterian Church Hilton Head Island, https://www.fpchhi.org/giving, while raising a toast to a fine Irish-American, who served his country, loved his family, treasured his friends, and was grateful to his Creator.