Lt. Richard Wallace Collins "Rip" received his eternal wings on November 30, 2012. Rip was a father, husband, devout Christian, Aggie and former fighter pilot in 35th Fighter Wing, 40th Fighter Squadron, WWII. Born November 11, 1923, in the Houston Heights to Donald Lee and Sarah Posey Collins, he moved to Joinerville, Texas where he graduated from Gaston High School. He attended Texas A&M until joining the Army Air Corp in 1942. As a Fighter Pilot of P-51s and P47s in the Pacific Theater, Rip flew 92 missions against the Japanese. While escorting B-29s flying to Japan, he saw the atomic bomb detonate over Nagasaki.
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After his service, Rip returned to A&M to receive his Bachelor of Architecture. After graduation, he worked as a contractor in Victoria and Houston and, late in life, became a Representative for Aid Association for Lutherans.
Rip loved music, evangelism, men's bible group for which he wrote lessons for 7 years, electronics and Scotties. He participated in the AFA, CAF and Eagles and founded the 40th Fighter Flight Test Squadron Association.
Rip is survived by his wife of 29 years, Marilyn; his son, Richard Ronald Collins DDS and wife, Sharon; daughter, Rue Elaine Collins Wright and husband, Bill and stepdaughter, Allison Elaine Finer Afuta and husband, Meir. His grandchildren are Cara Dawn Collins; Richard Dath Collins, DDS and wife, Angie; Paul Tapley Collins; Sarah Ashley Harmon Duncan and husband, Trey and Caleb Joseph Harmon. Great grandchildren are Bella Rue and Cade Wesley Duncan and Richard Harrison Collins. Scotties: Babs and Scot.
A memorial service will be officiated by Reverend Steven Simon at 11 am Saturday, December 8 at Christ Memorial Lutheran Church located at 14200 Memorial Drive, Houston 77079, and burial will be at 2:30 pm Monday, December 10 at Houston National Cemetery.
Much love and appreciation is extended to the Palliative Care Unit of the VA Hospital for their care of Rip.
Memorials may be made to Christ Memorial Lutheran Church.
Published in Houston Chronicle from Dec. 6 to Dec. 7, 2012