Gary Burt Collins was born in Fullerton, California on June 9, 1938 to James Delmar Collins and Zella (Dunbar) Collins. He passed away at his home in El Dorado Springs, Missouri October 20, 2018.
His earliest recollection is of him living in Needles, California with his brother Jimmy and Mom and dad in an outfit car belonging to the Santa Fe Railroad Company. His dad had divided the space into two bedrooms and a kitchen. He remembered a small window next to the top bunk as being the only ventilation in this extremely hot house in an extremely hot location. From there he moved to the Grand Canyon and the family was provided a cabin of their own. What a change! While his father worked on the water line being installed from the Colorado river up to the Grand Canyon Village and his mother worked at the telephone switchboard in the village, Gary explored, hiked, sold weekly papers (sometimes a week old that he sold to unsuspecting customers) in order to purchase a radio. He also ha a pet chipmunk that he would put in his pocket to take to the movies. Then it was back out to California where he lived in any number of places from San Diego up to Sacramento and in between during his school years.
He served in the Army Engineers from 1961 to 1963 at Fort Ord and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He became a registered land surveyor in both Missouri and Arizona. He married Glena Don in 1963 and upon discharge from the Army moved to Prescott, Arizona where they resided for 42 years. They moved back to Glenna’s home state of Missouri in 2011.
He is survived by his wife, Glenna; 3 children, Lisa Akley (Barry) of Rapid City, South Dakota, Stefani Collins of Prescott, Arizona and James D. (Mindy) Collins of Prescott, Arizona. Gary has 9 grandchildren, Brandon (Lyndsey), Tyrel (Kayla), Tori and Jesse Akley, Shane, Benjamin, and Joshua Burchard and Lanie and Cooper Collins; four great granddaughters, two belonging to Brandon and Lyndsey Akley and two belonging to Tyrel and Kayla Akley. He is also survived by his brother Jimmy of Thousand Oaks, California; two nieces and a nephew and their children and grandchildren and a cousin, Fred Reiter of Flagler, Colorado.