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.