May 12, 1945–May 15, 2020
Howard Eugene “Gene” Collins (75), in the arms of his beloved wife, Waynette, he passed peacefully into eternal life on May 15, 2020, after a courageous fight against ALS.
Gene was met in heaven by his parents, Howard L. and Doris Maxine (Bayless), his mother-in-law,Dean Moore , and a sibling who never lived on this side of heaven. He is survived by his wife, Waynette, his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, sisters, Carolyn Wright of Iola, Kansas and Dolores Yarnell of Erie, Kansas, and his father-in-law, Wayne Moore (Virginia) of Goodman, Missouri.
Gene was born on May 12, 1945 in Parsons, Kansas, becoming a pastor’s kid to a family that moved quite frequently as he grew up. As an adult, Gene made his home in Parsons, Kansas, developing a love for horses, motorcycle racing, and cars.
He married Judith Gayle Lamb on July 12, 1963. They had 5 children, Kimberly Geier (Bret) of Girard, Jeff Collins (Marie), Steven Collins, Greg Collins, and Kristie Koger of Parsons, Kansas, as well as numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.
He later married Waynette Collins (Moore) on January 17, 1985. Their 35 years of marriage would never be enough. He called her, “the Best”! He took advantage of every opportunity to be ornery and give her a hard time. They had two daughters, Jessica Barns (Mike) and Sarah Malcolm (Jared) of Webb City, Missouri and five grandbabies. They spent their days bringing joy and happiness into his home as he battled ALS.
Gene was a member of Forest Park Baptist Church in Joplin, Missouri. He served his family well by providing for them as a truck driver for more than twenty years, driving over one million miles accident free and winning several safe driving awards. Don’t be fooled, though, we all know he did it for the truck stop dinners and coffee! After retiring from driving, he worked for O’Reilly. He loved what he did and took pride in delivering parts to his customers. Gene was someone who had never met a stranger.
If it was broken, he could fix it. That is what he did his entire life. He could rig up anything. There was no such thing as throwing something out that could be used for a later project! Gene had several hobbies including woodworking, hunting, fishing, and Nascar.
Most of all, Gene cherished time he spent with his family. He was kindhearted, gave everything to provide for them, and never complained. Mama’s homemade meals, preferably fried chicken, and time with his grandchildren brought him happiness. He loved playing “bear” and “ottoman” with his grandbabies and was the world’s best gaga. Now he gets to be Gaga in Heaven to three precious grandbabies.
ALS wasn’t his first battle. Gene was also a Leukemia survivor. He was diagnosed with AML in 2014 and had been in remission for five years.
Before his passing, Gene was sure to tell us to love one another, take care of mama, live our lives for the Lord, be careful, and always remember to check the oil in our cars before heading on a trip. ALS may have taken his body, but it never took his joy. We grieve, but not as those without hope, for we know we will see him again when we are reunited with him and our Savior. His legacy, great faith, and love will live with us forever. 10-4, until we see you again.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date.