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Don Collins


1931 - 2014 | Notice Condolences
Don Collins Notice
Collins, Don passed away on Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at the age of 83. He was born to Rev. B.B. and Viola Adams Collins in Seminole, Oklahoma on January 24, 1931. At the age of 16 he attended Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, Texas. He began as a pastor, and then continued ministering in other areas throughout his life. In 1971, he founded Collins Industries, Inc. in Hutchinson, Kansas and was best known as the father of the Type A small school bus. As an entrepreneur and inventor, he was a pioneer in the manufacture of small school buses, ambulances, fire trucks, hearses, limousines, and wheelchair lifts for handicapped transportation. In addition, he manufactured transit buses, leisure vans, and terminal trucks that helped transform the shipping industry from bulk to containerization. Presidents Carter and Reagan honored him in Rose Garden ceremonies at the White House for his contribution to small business. He served on various boards of directors, and later was a guest lecturer for the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. In 2000, he published his book, Common Sense Wisdom - a collection of thoughts and quotes about life. His greatest pleasure was serving on the board of Good Life Broadcasting - A Christian television network in Orlando, Florida. Don was a great antique car enthusiast, and he restored numerous antique cars - his latest, a 1928 Model A Roadster. Don leaves not only a legacy, but many loved ones and friends. He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Sharon; His five children, Don (Carol), Ron (Joyce), Bonnie (David) Fricke, Paul, and Darraugh; His three stepchildren, Scott Gearhart, Jeanne Buller, and Brett Collins; ten grandchildren, Joseph, Shane, Claire, Katie, Nathan, Betsy, Brian, Justin, Alex, and Kristina; and ten great-grandchildren; His two sisters, Nadine Dodd and Dorothy (Carl) Martindale; and his cousin, Bill (Iris) Holland. Don will be loved and remembered for his unwavering positive attitude and skill of invention, entrepreneurship, community involvement, and charitable work to improve the lives of so many. Funeral services have been scheduled for 2PM Friday, August 8, 2014 at Hayhurst Funeral Home Chapel located at 1660 S. Elm Place, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma 74012. Leave a memory or word of encouragement to the family by visiting www.hayhurstfh.com and clicking online tributes.


Published in the Orlando Sentinel on Aug. 5, 2014
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