Born Jean Smith on Jan. 7, 1914, in Frankford, she was the daughter of Walton Smith and Charlotte Jones of Fayette.
She graduated in 1935 from Central Methodist College in Fayette, did graduate work at the University of Missouri and University of Wisconsin and taught high school for five years.
After meeting Keith Collins in college, they were married Aug. 27, 1939, and moved to Sikeston in 1941. He preceded her in death in 1974.
She was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Sikeston for 60 years where she directed activities of Youth and Christian Education for many years. A Sunday school teacher for 26 years, she served on the church Board of Trustees, the Administrative Board, as a delegate to state and national conferences, and in many other capacities.
Her concern for her community was exhibited by the many civic and charitable activities she participated in. She helped organize the first Community Chest, now known as the United Way of which she served as board member. For nine years she served as a volunteer coordinator and administrator of a free Child Development Center for preschool children of low-income parents. Twice president of the Women's Civic Club, she was named "Woman of the Year" in 1967 by the Business and Professional Women's Club.
After her husband's death from cancer in 1974, she chaired a pilot colon-
rectal screening program in Scott County for the American Cancer Society. In 1976, she received a gubernatorial appointment as a member of the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, serving seven years. She helped form and served 20 years on the board of the Delta Community Concert Association, and later was appointed to the Music Advisory Committee of the Missouri Arts Council.
She served the city by being elected to two terms to the Sikeston City Council serving as vice-mayor. She also was a six-year member of the Sikeston Housing Authority and the board of the Public Library. She continued to serve her college being appointed to the Board of Curators for six years and received the College Service Award.
Nothing was more important to her than working for Missouri Delta Medical Center where she directed a new Foundation. She retired after four years but served on the board for 12 years after raising money for many projects, including construction of the O'Bannon Family Care Center and ReStart Physical Medicine Complex.
She is survived by two sons and a daughter-in-law, Mike and Jane Collins of Los Angeles and Rob Collins of Sikeston; one sister, Edna Smith Glenn of St. Louis; two grandchildren, Keith Collins of Los Angeles and Kevin Collins of Sikeston; and three great-grandchildren, Courtney and Natalie Collins of Sikeston and Clayton Collins of Los Angeles.
Visitation will be at First United Methodist Church, beginning at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, followed by a memorial service at 2 p.m. conducted by Senior Pastor Geoff Posegate. A private burial for family only will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery.
Nunnelee Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
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The family requests
all donations be directed to:
Missouri Delta Medical
1008 North Main
Sikeston, MO 63801
First United Methodist Church
P.O. Box 682
Sikeston, MO 63801