Franklin Leroy Collins (1931 - 2016)

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INDEPENDENCE – Franklin Leroy Collins, age 85 of Independence, Iowa died Monday, Sept. 19, at the Buchanan County Health Center in Independence. Funeral Services were held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24, at Hope Wesleyan Church in Independence, with Rev. Bob Solon and Rev. Donald Glazier officiating. Friends and family called for visitation from 4 until 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23, at the White Funeral Home in Independence.
Franklin is survived by his wife of 58 years, Betty; a son, David (Belkis) Collins of Independence; a daughter, Janet (Darrin) Margheim of Hopkins, Minn.; a grandson, Joshua Margheim; and three step grandchildren, Daniela Alexandra Torraglosa Colon, Alberto Luis Ariza Colon, and Derek Margheim.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Franklin was born on May 31, 1931 at People's Memorial Hospital in Independence, the son of Mervin Lester and Edith Elizabeth (Andrews) Collins. He graduated from high school in Lamont, Iowa, with the Class of 1950. On June 7, 1958, he and the former Betty June Sheldon were married at the First Baptist Church in Lamont.
Franklin lived on the farm 1 mile north of Lamont that his great grandparents Dinah and Dr. Albert B. Collins purchased in 1869. He and his father raised purebred Jersey cattle. In 1950 he started his own cleaning agency, doing cleaning and painting. In 1955 he was employed by G.W. Vargason as an Interior Decorator and worked at that job until July of 1960 when he started working at the Mental Health Institute in the office of Medical Records. He retired from the Mental Health Institute in December of 1992. In 2000, he took the job as church janitor at Hope Wesleyan Church and he and Betty worked together cleaning until 2012.
He has had a full life and was always busy. Betty and Franklin enjoyed many years of square dancing. He was a tour guide at the Mental Health Institute for several years. He has always been a church worker. After graduation from high school he became a youth counselor for the junior and senior high youth groups at the First Baptist Church at Lamont. He was senior adult choir and youth choir director there and directed a number of cantatas and several plays. After moving to Independence in 1972, he became choir director at the Foursquare Church. He and Betty taught the little children's Sunday School class and after becoming members of Hope Wesleyan Church, he helped Betty teach 2 and 3 year olds. He was also Sunday School superintendent.
In 1986, at the age of 55, he took motorcycle riding lessons and bought a new 450 Honda. He jointed a photo club here in Independence and has taken an enormous amount of pictures all his life, including a few wedding pictures with his son, David, assisting. In 1995, he began taking organ lessons; something he had always wanted to do. He purchased a large two keyboard organ. He enjoyed playing and even played at concerts and at Bishop's Cafeteria in Waterloo.
He enjoyed traveling and traveled all over the United States and most of Canada and also in Mexico. Franklin took cross-country skiing lessons and skied with David in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He loved growing flowers and did a lot of flower arranging.
He enjoyed people and enjoyed eating out with friends and family. He has really enjoyed his grandson, Joshua.
On line condolences may be left at www.White-MtHope.com.
Funeral Home
White Funeral Home
400 First Street West
Independence, IA 50644
(319) 334-2595
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Published in Independence Bulletin-Journal from Sept. 27 to Oct. 5, 2016