John William Collins, 77, died peacefully Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013, after an eight-year battle with myleodysplastic syndrome. His wife, Marie, and daughter, Denice, were by his side. Memorial service: 2 p.m. Saturday at Birchman Baptist Church. Memorials: Gifts in John's memory may be made to the Building Fund at Birchman Baptist Church, 9100 N. Normandale, Fort Worth, Texas 76116. Mr. Collins was born Aug. 17, 1936, in St. Louis, Mo., to Charles and Daisy Collins. He served in the Coast Guard for 20 years, then served as a minister of the gospel for 38 years. He retired as the senior adult minister at Birchman Baptist Church in 2007. He served as chaplain and training officer for the Sansom Park Fire Department after the line-of-duty death of his son, Brian, in 1999. He was a hospice chaplain and patient ombudsman for several local agencies. Mr. Collins was a lifetime learner, earning his master of arts degree at age 72. He was also a gifted teacher, both in and out of the church setting. He conducted CPR and AARP senior driving classes until his illness prevented him from continuing. Having been called to senior adult ministry, he spent many hours visiting, encouraging and praying with those in the hospital, nursing home and hospice. He will be remembered for his big heart, wide grin and love for people. The family wishes to thank Community Hospice of Texas and Texas Oncology for the wonderful care given to their husband and father during his illness and homegoing, and especially the Adult 5 Sunday School Class at Birchman Baptist Church for the love they've poured out on us throughout this time. He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Daisy Collins; sons, Mark and Brian; granddaughter, Krista Crawford; brothers, Melvin, Charles, Ted and Robert; and sister, Mabel. Survivors: Wife of 55 years, Marie Collins; daughters, Denice Crawford and Sharon Manley; sons, Mike Collins and Andy Caperton and his wife, Marisol; grandchildren, Matt and Tim Crawford, Chris and Rick Johnson, Ryan, Hannah and Nathan Collins, Patrick, Jessica, Teresa and Shannon Collins; 10 great-grandchildren.