Patricia Ann Collins
1924 ~ 2014
Patricia Ann Collins, 90, passed away May 7, 2014 after a long and full life that was rich with a loving family and a wide circle of friends. She left a legacy of a life in which she never met a stranger and could light up a room with her infectious smile and gregarious laugh.
Patty Ann was born in Lewiston, Idaho on April 3, 1924, the first daughter of Perry and Jessie Oxley. She moved to Boise at the age of three, with her family, awaiting the birth of her only sibling, Harriet Sue. She spent the majority of her life in Boise, a town she embraced and considered her home even though she spent several years in California in childhood and later life.
Her life in childhood and later in high school put her close to many noteworthy Idaho politicians and Hollywood celebrities. In a recent reminiscence, in keeping with her talent to weave wonderful stories for her family, Patty Ann told of living next to Senator William Borah as a child while living at the Hurt Apartments in the East end. Later, when in California at 12 years of age, she lived in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, a neighborhood that included Hollywood celebrities Stan Laurel and Mary Martin. Patty Ann also babysat a young Larry Hagman of Dallas fame and loved to tell of the day that Betty Grable bought lemonade from her stand. Her childhood time in California was short and Patty Ann moved back to Boise's North end. While in high school, Patty Ann palled around with friends at Murry's Drive-In, friends that included Frank Church, who later became Idaho's most famous Senator. As a young working woman, Patty Ann worked as a personal assistant to Governor Len B. Jordan and was secretary for the Republican Party.
In an early life filled with interesting and memorable people, Patty Ann's greatest and most important meeting took place at Boise High School at age 15 when she met the handsome, athletic Steve T. Collins "Tom", who became her best friend, true love of her life, and later husband of 69 years. They continued their courtship at the University of Idaho for two years where Patty Ann pledged the Gamma Phi Beta sorority, a place where many of her life time friends were made. After completing two years of college, Patty Ann took a cross country train ride alone to join Steve in New York where he was serving in the U.S. Navy. On September 27, 1944 they married in Albany, New York. They lived on the East coast until Steve was shipped out to Japan.
After the war, Patty Ann and Steve moved back to Boise and started their young married life together. Soon they welcomed their son, Craig in July of 1953 and three years later, daughter, Karen in May of 1956. From 1959 until 1971 Steve's career took them to Sacramento, California and the couple developed a lifelong love of golf. They became so skilled at the sport that they participated in frequent tournaments together and separately and spent many days traveling to some of the great golf courses in the United States.
In 1971, the couple moved back to Boise to be closer to Idaho family and friends. They stayed in Boise for the remainder of their lives. While in Boise, Patty Ann and Steve continued their love of golf as members of Plantation Place Golf Course and later, Crane Creek Country Club. They also enjoyed Idaho's great outdoors and Patty Ann often accompanied Steve on many of his hunting and fishing trips. During these years, Patty Ann's interests included a strong commitment to the Gamma Phi Beta alumni association and she helped found the Gamma Phi chapter at the Boise State University campus. But it was in her garden that Patty Ann's creativity truly flourished and where she found contentment. She spent many hours there with friends and family who were drawn to her lovely garden. She so loved to garden, that at the age of 70 she could be found hauling heavy bags of potting soil while employed as a gardener for the Cottage Gardeners. Additionally, Patty Ann was a lifelong Episcopalian and an active member at St. Stephen's Church and spent many years volunteering for the church in many capacities.
Patricia's beloved husband, Steve "Tom", preceded her in death only four months prior to her passing. She is survived by her son, Craig (Carolyn) Collins; daughter, Karen Collins; granddaughter, Katie Collins; sister, Harriet Feeney; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Rich and Polly Collins; and an extensive family who loved her very much, including her nieces and nephews and their families.
The family would also like to recognize the loving and devoted staff of Plantation Place who made Patty Ann's life comfortable since August 2013; the kind nursing staff at XL Hospice, and Father David Wettstein of St. Stephen's Church for his many visits that provided solace in her final months.
Memorial contributions may be made to
The family invites all friends to attend a joint Celebration of Life for Patty Ann and Steve from 4-6 pm, Friday, May 30, 2014 at Hillcrest Country Club. The couple will be placed at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery, Boise, Idaho, with a private family ceremony.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family on Patty Ann's memorial webpage at www.summersfuneral.com.
Summers Funeral Home - Boise Chapel
1205 West Bannock Street Boise, ID 83702
Published in Idaho Statesman on May 25, 2014