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MARIA ARMIDA COLLINS 9/14/1931 - 9/1/2013 Marie, also known as "Midi" to her close family and friends, was born in East Highlands and grew up in Anaheim, California with her two brothers and two sisters under the loving guidance and care of their widowed mother, Frances. During her teenage years she enjoyed time with her many friends and family frequenting the local beaches. On May 28th 1954 she married her true love, Neal Collins, starting their family in Orange Park Acres. Neal and Marie enjoyed taking trips to hunt and fish during the summer and fall at Bishop, Lake Almanor and Chester areas, passing on the skills to their three children. In 1965 Neal and Marie moved North to Magalia, purchasing a retired sawmill and renovating the property into a mountain ranch complete with horses, cows and numerous other farm animals. In the place of the sawmill, pastures, barns, fruit orchards and a large garden were put on the property. Using the fruits of their labor, Marie refined her canning and cooking skills to a science making her known as a phenomenal gourmet cook with the specialty of any Mexican dish imaginable being made into a simple task. She gladly shared her recipes and canning secrets with anyone who demonstrated an interest in the art, passing on her skills to many friends and her children. During the winter months, Marie's pantry was a stockade of delicious home canned items, keeping the family well fed through the years. She developed a love for sewing and knitting, keeping her busy during the inclement weather. Marie's skill for making large amounts of delicious food was evident in the parties that occurred with numerous guests at their private campground area located along little Butte Creek in their canyon. Marie also organized and hosted trips to the Red Bluff Round Up annually for large numbers of friends and family, providing her guests with a delicious breakfast before the event and a large meal afterwards. Neal and Marie frequently ventured on trail rides with the horses, visiting with friends and relatives that had followed them to the area from Southern California. In 1977, Neal and Marie moved to Los Molinos building their dream ranch home on sixty-five acres. They installed a large pond stocked with fish with the house having a grand view of the pond, Mt. Lassen and the Sierra Nevada foothills. They continued raising cattle and horses on a much larger scale; a large pole barn and cattle working corrals were erected. She hosted memorable "cattle working" parties, teaching their friends and family how to brand and tend to the animals needs. Marie started her career as a bilingual teachers aid at Lassen View Elementary School, making numerous close friends in the area through her love for children and their education. Marie was consistently approached by her students remembering her from past school years as they grew up in the area, many thanking her for the help she had given many years before. Neal and Marie moved from the ranch in 1991 and with an enormous love for the immediate area, they built a similar ranch home on the banks of Mill Creek just a mile from their previous ranch. They enjoyed watching the salmon run from their back porch and entertainment patio on the bank of the river where they continued to host large social gatherings for their friends and family. Marie also enjoyed her time with friends playing Bunko and when anyone was in need or going through hard times she would show up bringing one of her many delicious meals and an open ear. Through the years, Marie had a fondness for many pets with them all being favorites, she raised a weimaraner, queensland heelers, several schnauzers and cats with her last dogs Bart 1 and Bart 2. They all loved her dearly and Bart 2 is now suffering the loss of his companion. Marie was always described by many as one with a quiet easy going disposition, possessing the patience of a Saint with a constant beaming smile through any situation, being an inspiration of beauty, grace, kindness, generosity and love with a big heart. Marie would light up a room on entry with her small frame and eminent class, she was always glad to see you and will be sorely missed by all. Marie is survived by her husband, Neal Collins; two sons, Shawn and Armand Collins; daughter, Sheila Collins; sister, Gloria Solis; daughter-in-law, Jane Collins; grandchildren, Natalie Welsh, Daniel Collins and Shannon Collins and three great grandchildren. Memorial Contributions may be made to Mercy Hospice, in care of Affordable Mortuary who are handling the arrangements. You may send condolences online at www.affordablemortuary.net. Service time will be announced at a later date.
Published in Daily News on Sept. 6, 2013
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