Lynne - I am so sorry for your loss. He was one of the nicest, classiest, gentlemen I ever met. I still quote him every day when I talk about "My Beautiful Bride". Something he taught me. Much love to you and Traci.
Tim and Cindy Stockman, Fort Lauderdale
Lynne, I am so very sorry for your loss. I thought your dad was just awesome and he will be greatly missed. cherish all the wonderful memories-
I'd like to share a memory and a sentiment:
World War II spawned the generation which is known as "The Greatest Generation." Eddie Collins was the text book example of that term. As the news of his passing is very sad for all who knew and loved him, I feel obligated to reflect on what kind of happiness and joy he instilled in me.
I've been friends with Eddie for the past five years. (BTW - I'm significantly younger and I always respect my elders, but he INSISTED I called him by his first name as opposed to the dreaded "Mr. Collins.") He and I met at the Lowe's store in Hicksville which is where I work. It was somewhat of a "freak luck" meeting - He once left his cane at one of the cash registers and returned home without it. I found it and called the phone number on the identification sticker to let him know I had it and he could pick it up whenever he wanted to. He came back in a few minutes and we started a very special friendship right then and there. We'd frequently spend a good hour talking to each other. Sometimes twice or even three times a day. My one regret about our friendship is that time traveled at super-sonic speed when we chatted. It never lasted long enough.
Over the years Eddie and I told each other of about our respective pasts, our families, friends, activities and many many other things. A topic we frequently discussed was his service in the U.S. army. I'm a big World War II history fanatic so given Eddie's war record, I was very intrigued by him and the stories he told me. At the same time I was humbled because I met Eddie when I was 35 years old - I was already twice the age that he was when he took part in the D-Day Invasion at Normandy Beach in France. When a typical youngster leaves for college the most "brutal" thing they may is initial homesickness or a maybe a "rigorous" fraternity hazing routine. One perk the college kid has is that he or she can come home whenever they want to if they don't like it. Eddie left home at 18 years of age KNOWING there's a VERY GOOD CHANCE that he won't ever return. He had NO CHOICE in the matter either. This boggles my mind to this day and it always will. Eddie spoke proudly of his service. Never once did I sense that he held any resentment toward anyone or anything for being forced into going through such chaos and witnessing all the horrors he did. He mentioned to me that he considered himself lucky because he was able to speak openly about his combat experiences, whereas many of his friends could not. This in itself shows how impressively strong Eddie's character was.
Having come to know Eddie rather well, the thing I noticed he was most proud of is the family he and and his wife, Eva, raised. Each time he spoke of Eva, any of his kids, grand-kids, great grandson, or any other member of the family, an extra dimension appeared in the conversation. It was an invisible presence that emanated from his happiness. I don't often come across that sort of thing. This is also something that I greatly admired about my buddy. It gives me inspiration to approach life in the same manner he did.
Eddie was a true free spirit and anyone he met knew it right away. As EVERY SINGLE ONE of my coworkers would testify, Eddie would be a friend for life in five minutes. Fellow customers and employees alike would literally surround him to either talk with him or to simply listen to a story he was telling. He had that unique charisma which you really only find in certain celebrities. As a matter of fact, I used to kid around with him by telling him that I felt like I was a bodyguard for the Beatles when he and I walked around the store together! As I mentioned, Eddie was the kind of person who could have a life long positive effect on someone if they spend five minutes with him. Think of how blessed I am to have known him five years.
Eddie, you done well! I will miss you buddy!
Please accept our deepest sympathy for your loss. Our prayers are with you and your family.
The Osbornes (Brian, Janice, Danielle & Andrew)
Offering our deepest condolences during this difficult time.