Carroll Wright Collins, A lifelong resident of Fort Worth, died peacefully on Friday, April 12, 2013, at a local hospital after many years of a debilitating handicap. He was surrounded by his family and friends. Memorial service: 2 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 917 Lamar St., Fort Worth. Memorials: Tributes to Carroll Collins may be made to BRIT, the Fort Worth Opera or Symphony, or to the
. Born in Fort Worth on Jan. 4, 1931, to Joe and Harriet Sargeant Wright Collins, Carroll was a lifelong member of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in downtown Fort Worth. He attended Paschal High School and then graduated from the University of Texas
at Austin in 1953 where he was a member of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. He then served in the United States Navy
for four years and retired as a lieutenant commander. He returned immediately to Fort Worth, where he joined his uncle Lucien H. Wright in the Lucien Wright Insurance Agency. He purchased the agency from his uncle in 1972 and continued his career as an independent insurance agent until he sold the agency in 2004. Under his leadership, the agency grew to 22 employees, and continues in business today. Mr. Collins' Fort Worth friends elected him president of the Steeplechase Club, a men's social organization, in 1958-1959. He became interested in numerous philanthropic organizations, an early one of which was the Irish Georgian Society, dedicated to restoring and maintaining examples of Georgian architecture in Ireland. He and other Fort Worth friends whom he recruited to the project traveled frequently to Ireland on inspection and fund-raising trips. As his innate generosity steered him to other causes, he had occasion to call upon and make friends with the king of Spain and he hosted Costa Rica's President Jose Figueres' visit to this country in 1996. His friend Van Cliburn achieved international fame for himself and Fort Worth in 1958, winning the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition. Thereafter, Carroll served as an ardent supporter of the Van Cliburn Piano Competition held in Fort Worth. His love of music and his community pride extended Carroll's support to the Fort Worth Symphony and the Opera as a sponsor of both. In 1986, he became excited about research potentials in botany, and helped form the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, where he served as chairman and master of ceremonies at the BRIT Awards banquet from 1996 to 2003. The large reception room in the BRIT building in the Botanic Gardens is dedicated to and named for Carroll Collins. Outside of his business and philanthropic involvements, Mr. Collins would frequently return to his rural roots, working at his farm near Acton and his Wright family home in Mansfield, where he and his cousins had spent childhood summers and weekends in the stately home of his grandfather John Howard Wright, a banker and one of the founders of Mansfield. In Fort Worth, the gregarious and engaging Mr. Collins entertained frequently and generously at River Crest Country Club and the Fort Worth Club. Having grown up in the Ryan Place Addition on Fort Worth's South Side, Carroll moved to Crestline Rd. in 1980. He and his longtime friend and decorator Joe Minton renovated an historic residence with such grandeur that it was featured in "Southern Accents" magazine in 1991. Survivors: Nephew, Geoff Collins and wife, Stacy, and family; nephew, Lawrence Collins and wife, Deann, and family; nephew, Michael Collins and wife, Margaret, and family; cousin, Dr. Berkeley Merrill and wife, Dr. Nancy Merrill; and dear friend, Judy McVeigh Cordell.