Our husband, father, and grandfather passed from this life Friday, May 3,2013.
Keith Leon Collins was born Feb. 24, 1927, the son of Emma Lundstrom and Sterling W. Collins. His parents divorced when he was a baby, and his mother and beloved stepfather, Joseph Pritchard Rhoades, raised him to be the fine man he was.
Keith grew up in Idaho Falls and graduated from Idaho Falls High School in 1945. He was immediately drafted into the Army in the infantry, where he served two years until the end of World War II.
Keith was then called to serve a LDS mission in the Stockholm Sweden Mission, where he labored for 2 1/2 years. He spent time after his mission touring the Holy Land, for which he had a deep love and reverence. He then returned to Idaho Falls and enrolled in Utah State College in Logan, Utah.
Keith married his sweetheart, Marian Afton Blaylock, on July 18, 1951, in the Idaho Falls Temple. Keith and Marian met when they were 16 years old and were married for nearly 62 years. They have four children: Brian LeRoi and Gregory Keith, who both died in infancy, and Eric David and Christina Gay.
Keith owned and operated Highland Greenhouses in Idaho Falls for approximately 20 years and was known for his Friday night gardening television program, "Garden Digest." The family moved to California in 1972, where Keith worked for 40 years managing wholesale nurseries in Whittier, Cupertino, Half Moon Bay, Madera and Chowchilla, selling bedding plants and poinsettias.
Keith was active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served as a Bishop, Bishopric counselor, stake mission president, stake High Councilor, temple ordinance worker, stake patriarch, and for many years as a Gospel doctrine teacher. He loved the Gospel of Jesus Christ and shared this love with any who would listen. He was a great missionary and many lives were touched and changed for the good because of his diligence in serving others.
Keith is survived by his wife, Marian of Clearfield, Utah; his children, Eric of Lakewood, Colo., and Christina (Steven) Pay of West Point, Utah; sister, Donna Adamson of Kennewick, Wash.; brother, Ronald (Diana) Rhoades of Idaho Falls; grandchildren, James (Maggie) Tracy of Roy, Utah, Bethany (Dustin) Larson of Ogden, Utah, Holly Tracy and Kaitlyn Tracy, both of West Point, Utah, Derek (Amanda) Pay and Brianne (Kris) Megan, both of Riverton, Utah, Danica (Matthew) Nungary of San Francisco and Katrina Collins and Justin Collins, both of Madera, Calif.; and eight great-grandchildren.
His parents; his sisters, Lenora Rhoades Brown, Alta Rhoades Cannon and Josephine Rhoades Davis; and children, Brian and Gregory, preceded Keith in death.
The family would like to thank Legacy Hospice for their kindness in caring for Keith.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 11, at Wood Funeral Home, 273 N. Ridge Ave. in Idaho Falls. The family will visit with friends from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. prior to services. Burial will be in Rose Hill Cemetery.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.woodfuneralhome.com.