Donna Marie Novak Collins was born on December 13, 1927, in Haddam, Kansas. She was the oldest of the seven children born to Emil and Lula Teeter Novak. Donna passed away on July 11, 2018, at Mercy Hospital, Springfield, Missouri, after battling many health issues for several years.
A Haddam High School graduate in 1945, Donna worked in the Haddam, Kansas, community for several years, played cards, danced at any opportunity, and traveled around the north central Kansas area watching her dad and uncles play baseball. She married Bill Perkins of Osceola, Missouri, and after traveling around the United States as Bill worked for the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey for several years, settled in Osceola which she would forever call home. Donna and Bill were the parents of Pattie Belisle, Osceola, and Greg Perkins, Reeds Spring, Missouri. She worked at the St. Clair County Courthouse and completed her working years at the Sac-Osage Hospital in Osceola. Later in her life she married Shirley Collins, a kind and gentle man who made her life happy and complete. When he retired as Sheriff of St. Clair County, Missouri, they moved to their home in rural Vista, Missouri, until his death.
Nothing on this Earth was more important to Donna than her family. She was devoted to her bothers and sisters, Charles and Jean Novak, Scottsdale, Arizona; C.L. and Ila Foote, Osceola; Jim and Ona Novak, Fremont, Nebraska; Bus and Linda Novak, Swanton, Nebraska; Dan and Barbara Novak, Lexington, South Carolina; and Peggy and Bob Mitchell, St. Charles, Missouri; each time they were together brought old stories, laughs and a sense of togetherness that never waned. Her children were wonderful but nothing brought her more joy than her 4 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. Shirley’s children and grandchildren were a source of pleasure and smiles to her as well. Her friends in the Osceola area were countless and her circle of acquaintances grew as she lived in Springfield, Missouri, for the past two years. Donna was a member of the Grace United Methodist Church for many years, but was a frequent visitor at area churches for special programs and worshipping. Her faith was her strength and her foundation.
Donna was preceded in death by her parents, her loving husband, Shirley Collins; one brother, Jim and his wife Ona Novak; brother-in-law, C.L. Foote; Doug Collins and Beverly Breeden, Shirley’s children; and Shirley Jean Johnson, Shirley’s granddaughter. Donna leaves behind her son, Greg Perkins and wife Michelle, daughter Pattie Belisle and husband Lowry; her grandchildren Andrea Elliot, A.J. and Avery; Regin and Jayme Belisle, Brynn, Josie, and Sadie; Heather and Mark Lasky, Grayson and Myles; and Lance and Jess Perkins; Shirley’s children and grandchildren, Herb and Debbie Collins, Eric, Justin, Aaron, Adam, and Seth; Judy Collins; Bruce and Carol Daulton, Jodee Lewis, Amy Cissell, and Caleb Collins; Kelly Kozak; special adopted family members, Bob and Joni Harper, her brothers and sisters, many nieces, nephews, and countless friends.
Donna’s life can be defined by faith, fun, friends, and family. For us, that life will never be forgotten.