Mr. Joseph Speight "Buddy" Collins, 84, passed away on Sunday, June 8, 2014 surrounded by his family. A memorial service will be held at Farmville First Baptist Church at 11 a.m. on Friday. A private burial will be held at Davenport Family Cemetery in Mackey's.
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Buddy, a native of Mackey's Ferry, was born on Nov. 19, 1929 in a retired Norfolk Southern passenger car furnished for a bridge foreman and later converted into a home. Joseph, the youngest of four children, was born to Raymond Isaac and Alice Ketcham Collins.
Buddy loved his childhood near Albemarle Sound, later called Collins Beach. He graduated from Roper High School in 1947. He then worked at Weyerhaeuser prior to serving as Staff Sergeant in the United States Army during the Korean War. Following his military service, he entered East Carolina College and obtained his BS and MA degrees in Education. Buddy taught two years at Massey Hill School in Cumberland County and two years in Washington County at Washington Street Elementary School. It was at a dance at Albemarle Beach that he met his future wife, Jean Ellis. They married shortly thereafter at Jamesville Christian Church. He then became principal of A.B. Combs Elementary School in Wake County in the summer of 1960. He served in various schools within Wake County. Later, he earned an Advanced Superintendent's Certificate from Duke University. From 1962-1963 Buddy taught at Campbell University. Following his tenure as principal of Apex High School, he became the Superintendent of Jones County Schools from 1969 to 1981. He later worked five years with the Division of Youth Services at Samarkand Manor in Eagle Springs, prior to retirement. After retirement, Buddy became interested in the National Park Service and served as an Interpreter for events at the Lost Colony.
He was preceded in death by the love of his life and wife of 53 years, Jean Ellis Collins, an infant son; brother, Woodrow Collins; and two sisters, Georgia Davenport and Margaret Everett.
Surviving are Buddy's twin sons, Raymond Justin Collins of Knightdale, Jayson Joseph Collins and wife, Dorothy Collins, of Greenville; two daughters, Melony Collins Fowler and husband Stacey, of Spartanburg, S.C., and Cathy Collins Kirkland and husband, Chuck, of Winterville. Buddy was "Pardna" to Jennifer Collins Jackson and husband, Michael, Joseph Daniel Collins and wife, Lauren, Jonathan Collins and special friend, Megan Ottinger, Malorie Kahl, Ryan Scarborough and Austin Kirkland; Big Pardna to Addison Collins and two unborn great grandchildren.
Although Buddy held many titles in his professional life, his most rewarding role was that of Daddy and Pardna. Many wonderful memories were made with his children on the White Oak River boating, fishing and skiing. He enjoyed traveling with his wife and spending time with his extended family. He never missed an opportunity to tell his family he loved them and to tell them how proud he was of their accomplishments. He was a wonderful husband, father, father-in-law, "Pardna," brother and friend.
The family extends special appreciation and gratitude to Dr. Steven Hamstead and the staff of Physicians East of Farmville as well as United Hospice in Farmville. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to The
, 930 Wellness Drive #B, Greenville, NC 27834 or First Baptist Church, Post Office Box 34, Farmville, NC 27828.
Published in The Daily Reflector on June 10, 2014