Anna Mae Pickens Collins, age 103, (Mrs. Joel Wyman Collins Sr.) born Sunday, Jan. 9, 1910, died Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, at the Chester County Nursing Center.
A celebration of life service will be held at Bethel United Methodist Church, 101 York Street in Chester, on Sunday, Jan. 20 at 2 p.m. Friends and family are invited to the Collins' home at 132 York Street on Saturday, Jan. 19, from 2 to 5 p.m. and after the service on Sunday.
Mrs. Collins considered her highest calling and achievements to be the roles of wife, mother, and active leader in her church and community. On Jan. 8, 1931, she and Joel Wyman Collins were married by the Rev. John H. Webb, pastor of First Baptist Church in Columbia, S.C. It was the culmination of a love story that began during their college days, he at Clemson College where he was on a football scholarship and she on an academic scholarship at Greenville Womens' College, now Furman University. She was educated at Seneca High School where she was an honor student, at Greenville's Womens' College and at the University of South Carolina's School of Journalism. She was a reporter
for The State newspaper and a feature writer for The Chester News, the Rock Hill Herald and the Charlotte Observer. For five years she was columnist for the Chester News with a weekly feature column "Ambling With Anne."
Mrs. Collins wrote or edited 13 books including "Chester County Heritage History," (two volumes), "A Goodly Heritage â€" a History of Chester County," "The Twentieth Century and Me," "Wellsprings of Bethel," "Ambling with Anne" (two volumes) and Collins and Pickens family histories.
The Collins family moved to Chester from Denmark, S.C. in August 1944 when her husband became Head Football Coach and Athletic Director at Chester High School. The Collins family joined Bethel Methodist Church in 1944. Her community service includes the presidency of Foote Street School PTA, Chester High School PTA and Chester PTA Council. She was member and Chair of the City Recreation Board, Trustee of Chester County Library for 24 years and Chair for 12 years and member of the York Technical College Foundation Board. The Anne Pickens Collins meeting room at the Library was decorated and furnished by her children in her honor. She helped plan and raise funds for Chester County's two new libraries.
Mrs. Collins was selected by the South Carolina General Assembly as one of South Carolina's delegates to the first White House Conference on Aging in Washington, D.C.
Mrs. Collins was the founder and organizer of the Chester Little Theater and Children's Theater (1971), Arts Council of Chester County, Friends of the Library, Interagency Council, and Chester County Board of Realtors, Inc. She was also a member and President of the Friday Study Club of Chester.
Mrs. Collins and her husband established Joe Collins Real Estate, Inc. in Chester in 1967. After his death in 1976, she became President and Broker-in-Charge and served until her retirement in 1988. She was organizer and Chester County Coordinator for Carolina Community Actions, a four-county anti-poverty program. In earlier years she worked as supervisor for Springs Mills sewing room and as executive secretary of the Chester County Tuberculosis Association. She served as president of its state organization.
Among the honors Mrs. Collins received are Clemson University Mother of the Year (1985), South Carolina Library Trustee of the Year (1990), community service awards from both local and state Civitan Clubs, Salvation Army, Interagency Council, York Technical College Foundation, Chester Little Theater and Brainard Institute Club. In 1992 she was honored as a Woman of Achievement and Model for Today's Girls by the Piedmont Area Girl Scout Council. She was named REALTOR of the Year in 1987. She was one of four Chester County citizens honored during Black History Month in 1997. Mrs. Collins also recently received a proclamation from the S.C. House of Representatives which was personally presented to her by Representative Walt McLeod. She was a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow.
The Collins family was named Chester's First Family of the Year in 1957 and was selected Family of the Year in South Carolina, Region III in 1987. Mrs. Collins served as president of her family reunion, Jenkins-Pickens families of Oconee County.
Mrs. Collins was a long time member and supporter of Chester Soil and Water Conservation District, South Carolina Library Association, Three Rivers Health Systems Agency, Catawba Regional Council of Aging and of Springs Golden Age Club. She was a graduate of Palmetto Leadership and was active in Literacy Council "Let's Talk About It," Furman University Quing Club and Brainard Institute Club. Mrs. Collins was a Sunday school teacher for 60 years. She began teaching when she was 14 years old. For 6 years she was director of the Methodist Youth Fellowship at Bethel United Methodist Church in Chester. She was a member of the Church's Official Board, Church Historian and Chair of Communications. She taught the Adult Fellowship Class at Bethel Church for over 10 years. She was a member of the Tuesday Morning Bible Study group at Bethel. In 1989, Mrs. Collins wrote and produced a pageant for Bethel's Bicentennial Observance and it was performed in 2011 for the 175th observance.
Mrs. Collins was the daughter of the late Julius Fletcher Pickens and Hattie Iola Wilkinson Pickens, both of Oconee County.
Mrs. Collins is survived by six children: Joe Ann C. Dickson of Chester, Nancy C. Anderson of Chester, Dr. Andrew Pickens Collins and wife Shirley Allen Collins of Durham, N.C., Margaret C. ("Tassie") Boshamer and husband Ulf Boshamer of Charlotte, N.C., Joel Wyman Collins Jr. and wife Rhonda Phillips Collins of Columbia and Richard Wilkinson Collins of Lovington, Va.
She is survived by her grandchildren, Mark Collins Dickson (wife Karla) of Lakeland, Fla., Elizabeth Anne Dickson of Chicago, Ill., Richard Wyman Anderson (wife Elizabeth Smith) of Rock Hill, Robert Emory Anderson (wife Barbara) of Columbia, George B. Anderson Jr. (wife Lisa Rowan) of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., Lisa Collins Carver of Columbia, Laura Collins Barringer (husband Edwin Teer) of Durham, N.C., Britt Boshamer Yett (husband David) of Charlotte, N.C., Andrea Boshamer Powell (husband Kurt) of Charlotte, N.C., Joel Wyman Collins III (wife Jennifer Long) of Raleigh, N.C., Andrew Pickens Collins II of Jacksonville, Fla., Christy Collins Rogers (husband Jody) of Columbia, Hannah Walker Collins of Bangkok, Thailand, Sarah Collins Thomas (husband Mark) of Shipman, Va., Anna Mae Collins Tyree (husband James) of Colleen, Va. and Calvin Joseph Dickson of Winston-Salem, N.C.
She is survived by her great-grandchildren, Karl Caddell Dickson, Kyle Collins Dickson, Fitz Edward Barringer (wife Katherine), Neils Allen Barringer, Pickens Collins Barringer, Curran Allen Carver, Andie Alexander Carver, Collin James Anderson, Leah Kathryn Anderson, Zachary Byars Anderson, Ashley Lauren Anderson, Gordon Deane Collins, Wesley Stephens Collins, Davis Watson Powell, Lillie Collins Powell, Connor Ward Yett, Luke Hans Walter Yett, Abigail Diane Rogers, Elijah Ryan Rogers, Asher Wyman Collins, Elizabeth Landsdowne Rogers and Ava Grace Tyree.
She is also survived by one great-great-grandchild, Adlai William Barringer; nephews David Pickens, Dr. Earl Pickens and Dr. James Pickens; and nieces Penny Brooks and Vonnie Brooks.
Mrs. Collins was predeceased by the love of her life, Joel Wyman Collins Sr., who died on March 17, 1976. She was also predeceased by her brother, Norman D. Pickens; her brother, J. Leon Pickens; her sister, Kathleen Pickens Rooney; and her grandson, David Wayne Dickson.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Sam Stone and his staff, the staff of the Chester County Regional Medical Center Nursing Home and caregivers Frances Jernigan and Sarah Gregory. The family also wishes to acknowledge and especially thank Maria Worthy, who was Mrs. Collins' loving companion and caregiver for the past 7 years.
The family suggests memorials be made to Bethel United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 751, Chester, SC 29706. The family request no flowers or food please.
Interment will be private at Evergreen Cemetery.
Messages and condolences may be sent to the family at www.pollard-funeralhome.com
Arrangements by locally-owned Pollard Funeral Home, 115 York St., Chester, SC 29706.