W. Ernest Collins Jr. (1942 - 2018)

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  • "Rest in Peace, dear friend."
    - Nancy Rogers
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W. Ernest Collins Jr., 76, died peacefully on June 24, 2018.
He went out on a high note, collapsing suddenly on June 20 as he finished his morning swim and never regaining consciousness.
Survivors include: his wife of 48 years, Mary Lynn Collins; their son, Chad (Heather) Collins; their daughter, Camille (David) Collins Dean; and grandchildren Hadley, Jack, and Leah Collins, and Mia Dean, who knew him affectionately as "E"; his siblings, Josephine Weber, Mary Brown, Gary Collins, and Brad (Joan) Collins; mother-in-law, Tibby Adams; and sisters-in-law, Sherrie (Warner) Webb and Anne (Don) Chesnut.
Ernest was born in Lebanon on Feb. 18, 1942, to Ernest and Ida Belle Collins. After graduating from Lebanon High School, Ernest attended Western Kentucky University, where he studied chemistry and biology and earned both his bachelor's and master's of degrees. He taught biology at Sue Bennett College in London, where he met Mary Lynn, before accepting a position as a chemist for the Department of Agriculture in Frankfort in 1971, from which he retired in 2008. Ernest loved photography, science, movies, music, history, and his family. He combined all of these into one spectacular adventure to Western Kentucky to view the rare total solar eclipse in August 2017. He leaves a rich photographic legacy of this event and so many others, and will be greatly missed. He was the family's memory keeper. 
A celebration of Ernest's life was held on Thursday, June 28, at Highland Christian Church in Frankfort.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Kentucky Historical Society or the Western Kentucky University Foundation-Chemistry/Biology Depart-ments at www.wku.edu/makeagift.
Rogers Funeral Home, Frankfort, was in charge of arrangements.
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Rogers Funeral Home Inc
507 W 2nd St
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 223-3481
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Published in The Lebanon Enterprise on July 4, 2018