Obituary

James Collins


BELLEFONTAINE - James W. Collins, 86, of Bellefontaine passed away Saturday morning, December 3, 2016 at Heartland of Westerville.

Jim was born October 8, 1930 in York, Pennsylvania, the son of the late Evelyn Baublitz and Willard Henry Collins, who preceded him in death. His wife, former Beverly Anne Barnhart preceded him in death on July 16, 2015. Jim was also preceded in death by an infant son Phillip in 1958 and a daughter Kathi in 2003.

Jim is survived by daughters, Susan K. (B. David) Manning of Bellefontaine and Beth A. Collins currently of Reynoldsburg, Ohio; a grandson David "James" Manning; and a sister Patricia Meldon of Fairborn, Ohio.

Jim's father worked as manager of a national furnace company and was transferred in 1939 to Bellefontaine. In 1946 Willard started his own company, Collins Heating. Jim graduated from Bellefontaine High School in 1948. He then went on to graduate from the University of Cincinnati in 1954 with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Management. While at UC, Jim attended the Wesley Foundation Methodist Student Group where he met his future wife Beverly Barnhart from Canton, Ohio. They married in 1954 and moved back to Bellefontaine where Jim began working for his father in the heating business. He also taught heating and air conditioning at the vocational level at Hi Point in Bellefontaine, and at the vocational school in Xenia.

Jim was active in the Jaycees in its earliest days in Bellefontaine. He also served in the Jaycee District and as a State Officer and later was honored by becoming the first JCI Senator in Bellefontaine. Jim was also an active member throughout his life in the Presbyterian Church, he served on many committees and was an Elder, Sunday School Superintendent and taught Sunday School classes for many years. He also served on the committee for Kirkmont Center for many years.

Jim was devoted to educating the community as well as leading the two county areas of Logan and Champaign on the subject of Mental Illness, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, Depression, etc. He and his wife conducted many classes to assist families coping with mental illnesses. Jim and Beverly also were active on the state and national level, promoting education for statesmen on the needs and treatment for people with mental illness.

In later years, Jim and Beverly became involved learning coping skills for those with Fibromyalgia, and also Essential Tremor. He enjoyed reading and as an avid sports follower he attended most local high school sports games. Jim also enjoyed watching sports on TV. Family was very important to Jim and he was especially thrilled by the arrival of grandson "James" … a real joy to receive for his 72nd birthday! Jim especially tried to live his life by the Jaycee Creed: "Faith in God Gives Meaning and Purpose to Human Life." Even in retirement, Jim was still well known to many in the Logan County area.

A memorial service will be held January 14, 2017 at the First Presbyterian Church, Bellefontaine.


Published in Weekly Currents from Dec. 7 to Dec. 8, 2016
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