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Jeanne Collins

Jeanne Collins Jeanne Collins, beloved wife, mother, and Nana, passed away early in the morning on October 6, 2012. Her devoted husband Tom was, as always, by her side. In her last days she was surrounded by countless friends and family, including (but not limited to): her two daughters Jessica Arellano and Brennan Cruser; her son-in-law Kevin Cruser; her treasured grandchildren Elliott, Elijah, Collin, and Liam; her brother and sister-in-law Andy and Nona Sansom; and her IV League support group. Jeanne was born to Imo and Sammy Sansom on July 22, 1948 in Lake Jackson, TX. She graduated from Brazosport High School in 1966 and went on to receive a degree in anthropology from Rice University. The Peace Corps led her to South Korea, and ultimately to the love of her life. Tom and Jeanne married in Seoul, South Korea on April 28, 1973. They returned to the U.S. in 1973 after a tour of Asia that included everything from the beaches of Bali to coffee shops in Kabul. Within a couple of years of their return, Jeanne and Tom were blessed with the addition of Jessica and Brennan. The family had multiple moves around the country, and with that Jeanne had multiple careers. She dabbled in everything from being a travel agent to dealing antiques. She ultimately found her real niche as an accomplished photographer. She earned an M.F.A. in photography from Georgia State University in 2000 where she also served as an adjunct professor before moving to Austin in 2001. Jeanne had many hobbies over the years, including golf, sewing, and writing. She was also an avid fly fisher and her passion for fishing led her to learn to tie her own flies. While she enjoyed so many interests, the pursuit of her lifetime was travel. Jeanne wandered the globe and found herself in 46 countries on 6 continents. Her travels included such adventures as backpacking through Europe, cruising down the Nile, riding elephants in the Nepalese jungle, and taking a bus tour through Tibet. Jeanne's voyages could fill a novel, and she loved to tell the stories. In the last fourteen years of her life, Jeanne never battled cancer. Rather, in her usual style, she added a side car to her motorcycle, inviting cancer to come along as she traveled to many places with her husband and the family she loved so much. They went on an African Safari, swam with penguins in the Galapagos Islands, fished in the streams of New Zealand, rode camels in Egypt, and even returned to Korea. Jeanne loved fly fishing and did so in the cool rivers of Colorado at any chance she got. In true form, Jeanne was trout fishing in Colorado just a week before she passed, an oxygen tank beside her no more cumbersome than a cooler of beer. Jeanne's matter of fact attitude and her determination to put cancer on the back burner of life gave countless women in her Stage IV breast cancer support group the hope that they too could cope with late stage cancer. It is impossible to count the number of women Jeanne guided. Jeanne's family has planned a celebration of her beautiful life. The service will be held at 10:00 am on October 20, 2012 at Central Presbyterian Church in Austin, where she was a member. The dress will be casual, and crazy socks are encouraged. Following the celebration, everyone is invited to the fellowship hall of the church for lots of food and friendship in Jeanne's honor. In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to Breast Cancer Resource Center, PO Box 300040, Austin, TX 78703.


Published in Austin American-Statesman on Oct. 10, 2012
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