Joseph Leland Collier
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Joseph Leland Collier, a long time resident of Pensacola, passed away in New Bern, N.C., on November 6th, 2012, after a 23 year battle with advanced prostate cancer. He was sustained by his faith, his family, his friends, his wisdom, and his sense of humor.
He was born to Christine Wilber Collier and Joseph Wesley (Caillier) Collier in Chickasaw, Al. He graduated from Vigor H.S. in 1963. He attended Mobile College, entered the USN Hospital Corps School in 1965, and advanced through the enlisted ranks to Master Chief. In 1973, he joined the combined Air Force/ Navy Physician Assistant program. He received his B.S. from the University of Nebraska and graduated from the P. A. program in 1976. His MENSA intelligence, intuition, wit, and concern made him an excellent care giver. He then served in Pensacola, Cuba & Guam. Before being diagnosed with terminal cancer, he served 27 years in the Navy, achieving the rank of CWO4 .
He was dedicated to his job, but more so to his God and family. Throughout his life, he was active in churches & chapels - leading Bible studies, Sunday School classes, and singing tenor in the choir.
Joe loved nature and growing plants. He was an avid reader. He was a fantastic fisherman and loved saltwater fishing from his Carpe Diem. He appreciated this country and the opportunity to photograph & travel across it. His favorite hobby was SCUBA and he became a dive master in 1982. Many overseas tours & trips were centered on opportunities to dive.
He was a proud, loving, and giving father, who always made spending time with his children a priority, and who delighted in his grandkids (who adored him).
Joe suffered courageously through 22 years of actual treatment, and yet he was often the one who lifted us up.
We want to thank Dr. Frank Greskovitz and Dr. Thomas Sunnenberg and their staffs. Great appreciation goes to our families, our many friends, especially to "Our Gang", to the Adult SS class from First UMC and Pine Forest UMC for their long-time support.
Joe is survived by his loving wife of almost 48 years, Pamela (Priser) Collier, and their two caring daughters, Kimberly McGee, and April (Mrs. Patrick) O'Donnell, also by 8 well-loved grandchildren: Stephanie Taylor, Thomas and Edward Fleming, Sophia and Bailey McGee, and Christopher, Kirstin, & Kelly O'Donnell, and 5 great-grandchildren. Joe is survived, too, by all five of his giving siblings - Mary Lou Collier, Ellen Moore, Carl Caillier, Brenda Cooper, and Jeannie Grady.
Joe will be cremated by Kahlert Funeral Home in Maysville, N.C.. There will be reception at 1:00 p.m., followed by a Memorial Service at Garber UMC in New Bern on Fri., Nov. 9. In lieu of flowers, memorials should be given to the First UMC of Pensacola's Feed the Homeless program, or the Loaves and Fishes Homeless Shelter in Pensacola, FL.
Express your condolences in our guestbook at pnj.com/obits
Published in Pensacola News Journal on Nov. 9, 2012