COLLINS, ROBERT RICE,
of Melbourne passed away April 11, 2013. Robert was born in Omaha, NE in 1927 to Ethel and Charles Collins. He moved to Miami, FL at 5 years of age where he lived for much of his life. While residing in south Florida, he received a accounting degree from University of Miami. On August 14, 1950, he married Shirley Castillo (Springfield, OH) whom he met while working at The Spring Lodge in Cedarville, MI. Robert's father owned and operated the fishing resort in the upper peninsula of Michigan in the summer months, where Robert would work alongside his two brothers as a fishing guide for visiting tourists. He met Shirley while she was vacationing with her family. Robert Collins proudly served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army in 1953 where he served for 2 years. After his years in the military, he worked in executive positions for both Thunderbird and Wellcraft Marine and lived in Miami and Sarasota while employed at those companies. In 1975, Robert started his own company, Wheeled Coach Corporation in Orlando, FL. Wheeled Coach, still in operation today, is the largest ambulance manufacturer in the world. Robert grew his company from a small warehouse on Pine St. to a company with over 300 employees on Forsyth Road in Winter Park. He sold his company in 1985 and retired to live in Cedarville, MI and the Florida Keys and then eventually Melbourne to spend the rest of his life doing what he loved to do, boating and fishing. He is survived by his wife Shirley; his children Bob Collins, Don Collins, Mike Collins and
Brenda Collins Sincaglia; their spouses Alvana, Tina, Paula and Nick; his grandchildren Robby,
Melissa, Matthew, Megan, Austin, Sean, Ryan, Collin and Molly; and his great-grandchildren Caiden and Riley. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the
or MD Anderson Cancer Center. A celebration of
Robert's life will be held at Collison Funeral Home (3806 Howell Branch Rd., Winter Park) on Tuesday, April 16 from 6 to 8 PM.
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