Robert E. "Bob" Collins, 84, of Swansea, Ill., born Dec. 9, 1931, in St. Louis, Mo., died Tuesday, June 28, 2016, at Memorial Hospital, Belleville, Ill.
Bob grew up in St. Louis, Mo., attended McKinley High School, and served in the U.S. Navy. He began working in the grocery store business after returning home from service. He worked for the Kroger Company in St. Louis, as an assistant manager at Centreville Tom Boy, and as a produce manager at Keck's Super Market in O'Fallon, Ill. He then became a co-owner of Edgemont Super Market in East St. Louis, Ill., and the Park Street Mini Mart in Waterloo, Ill.
In 1982, Bob moved to San Antonio, Texas, and was a manager for the Albertson's super market chain. He returned to the Belleville area in 1986, obtained his real estate sales license and insurance license, and worked in the Steve Knapp and Dave Slimack State Farm Insurance Agencies. After his retirement, he worked part-time as a driver and activities assistant at St. Paul's Home, and thoroughly enjoyed every day there.
Bob was an active member of Christ United Church of Christ, and loved planning and organizing events for his church family. He was a member of the Morris Masonic Lodge 787 in Waterloo, Ill., he was a past member of the director's staff and the clown unit of the Ainad Shriners, and was a past-president of the Monroe County Shrine Club. He was a past-president of the Meat Cutters Local 534 Retirees Club and a member of the American Legion Post 2007.
He enjoyed watching Cardinals Baseball, his old cowboy shows, trips to the casinos, trips with the Retirees Club, and going to auctions. Bob never met a stranger and will be sadly missed by family, friends, and everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Marie, nee Ross, Collins; an infant son, Craig Collins; his mother-in-law and father-in-law, Charles and Lucille, nee Loos, Hatley; an infant sister; a son-in-law, Erick Shepheard; a sister-in-law, Willa, nee Hatley, Besancon; and brothers-in-law, Bob and Bill Hatley, Warren "Buzz" Besancon, and Howard Spier.
He is survived and missed by his loving wife of 55 years, Ellen, nee Hatley, Collins, whom he married on Nov. 5, 1960, in Dupo, Ill.; a son, Steven Collins (Patti March); a daughter, Cindy Shepheard; six grandchildren, Tiana Wilder, Nick Collins, Raven and Danielle Matusak, Keaton and Tanner Shepheard; a brother, Jerry Collins; a sister, Blanche Casey; two sisters-in-law, Charlene, nee Hatley, Spier, and Mary Lou, nee Wilhite, Hatley; and numerous other relatives and friends.
Memorials may be made to Christ United Church of Christ, to the Belleville Area Humane Society, or to the
. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.
Visitation: Friends may visit with the family from 10 to 11:30 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016, at Christ United Church of Christ, 26 North 14th St., Belleville, Ill.
Funeral: A celebration of life memorial service will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016, at Christ United Church of Christ, with Mr. Jonathan Tinge officiating. Private burial services will be at a later date.
GEORGE RENNER & SONS FUNERAL HOME, Belleville, Ill.
Published in Belleville News-Democrat on Aug. 5, 2016