Elizabeth Corinne Thorne Collins was born in Fort Worth, Texas October 13, 1919. She was the first of four children of the late Lawrence E. and Marie Logan Thorne. She was Corinne to her friends and family, Aunt Nin to her many nieces and nephews and their children and Ninny to grandchildren and great grandchildren. The family moved to Port Arthur in 1929, when her father became local head person of the Port Arthur division of Gulf States Utilities. At age 12 she joined the First Presbyterian Church and remained an active member of that congregation throughout her lifetime, serving for decades as a children's Sunday School Teacher, Deacon, and Elder, through the church's mergers, names and locations, until transferring to the United Methodist Temple in 2014. Corinne graduated from Port Arthur High School in June, 1937; one of her high school activities was playing the drum in the Red Hussars. She first attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and graduated from the University of Texas in Austin in 1941 with a BA Degree in Journalism. While at SMU she joined Gamma Phi Beta Sorority and stayed active in the sorority while at Texas, though her place of residence in Austin was the Scottish Rite Dormitory and not the sorority house. After graduation she returned to Port Arthur and worked on a wartime project at Sabine Pass and then in the office of Dr. J. Milton White, Sr. Besides her church work, she helped with Campfire, USO, Little Theater , and volunteered as a Nurse's Aide at St. Mary Hospital. On November 13, 1944, she married Howard W. Collins, at the U.S. Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida, then resided in Titusville, Florida until returning to Port Arthur when her husband was assigned to the Pacific theater. Her four sons were born and grew up in Port Arthur. Through the years she frequently served as Class Mom, Cub Scout Den Mother, Little League and Boy Scout mother and served as a Meals-on-Wheels volunteer. She enjoyed her women's Tuesday Bridge Club, originally made up of high school and college friends; and she participated in Thursday morning golf with the nine hole ladies group at the Port Arthur Country Club. She was a member of the local PEO chapter, the Rose Hill Garden Club, and the Port Arthur Founders Lioness Club. Corinne was also a member of the Port Arthur Historical Society and volunteer worker in the Museum of the Gulf Coast gift shop. She enjoyed family vacation trips to the Gulf of Mexico Beaches, to National Parks and Monuments, to visit family and friends, and to two special places: Calloway Gardens and Disney World. In retirement years, there were regular visits to the family cottage on Lake Amanda at Colmesneil, Texas. She is survived by her husband of 70 years and four sons: Bill Collins and wife Marian of San Antonio, George Collins and wife Donna of Houston, Eddie Collins and wife Marie of Austin, and John Collins and wife Darcy of Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas. She had eight grandchildren and seven great- grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her brother Lawrence E. Thorne, Jr. and survived by her two sisters, Virginia Avery of Port Arthur and Florence Marie Garrett and husband Ray of Tyler, Texas. There are also numerous nieces and nephews and their children, which include helpful Susie McCullough and husband Keith of Flint, Texas, Larry Thorne and wife Margaret of Beaumont, and Bill Avery of Groves. A Graveside service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at Greenlawn Memorial Park with Reverend Jesse Brannen officiating under the direction of Levingston Funeral Home of Groves. The family wishes to thank Dr. Margaret Lang Williams for care given Corinne at home the past several years, also the Hospice visiting persons of Texas Home Health, and daily workers of Coastal Caregivers, Inc.
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Levingston Funeral Home
5601 39Th St Groves, TX 77619
Published in The Beaumont Enterprise on Apr. 6, 2014