INDEPENDENCE – Virgil L. Collins, 76, of Independence died in his home under the care of his children and Unity Point Hospice on Sunday, September 20, 2020. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, September 28, 2020, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Independence. Burial will be in Mt. Hope Cemetery in Independence. Friends may call for visitation from 2 until 6 p.m. on Sunday, September 27, at White Funeral Home in Independence.
Virgil was born on February 10, 1944 in Independence to Warren and Stella (Ulm) Collins. He graduated from Jesup High School in Jesup in 1962 and later attended Brown Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He also studied at the World Wide College of Auctioneering in Mason City. He married Connie Julian in 1964, and they later divorced. On August 4, 1978, he married Mitzi Aalderks in Aplington.
Virgil was employed in various commercial design engineering positions for nearly his entire career, retiring in 2019. He owned and operated Major Metal Products, Inc in the 1980s. During his career his design ingenuity was instrumental in numerous U.S. patents. He often simply referred to himself as a "garbologist."
In his free time, he loved everything Iowa Hawkeyes, was once a member of the United States Chess Federation, and was actively involved in Boy Scouts during his youth and also with both of his sons. Virgil could light up a room full of strangers or friends with his quick wit and humor. His greatest joy was his family and friends.
Virgil is survived by his children, Mike Collins of Gladbrook, Jill Collins of Traer, Christine (Jeff) Fischer of Whitleyville, Tennessee, Lisa Peek (Drew Podgorski) of Machesney Park, Illinois, and John Collins of Guttenberg; 11 grandchildren; and four great grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, Clark (Maggie) Collins of Guttenberg; a sister, Connie (Lester) Ott of Jesup; and sisters-in-law Kay Collins of Eaton, Colorado, and Sheila Collins of Jesup.
He was preceded in death by his wife Mitzi in 2019; his parents; his brothers, Ivan Collins and Roger Collins; a son-in-law, William Baumeier; and a great-grandson Layton Matthew.
Online condolences may be left at www.White-MtHope.com.