Jim was born Nov. 12, 1913, in Virgil Township, Vernon County, Mo., to William Wesley and Mabel Collins. He attended Keck and Willow Grove grade schools, and attended high school at Walker and El Dorado Springs, Mo. On July 5, 1945, he married Alta Pettit. He was in the 15th U.S. Air Force for six years during World War II and he had 35 combat missions against Germany and occupied Europe. He was also awarded a purple heart. He lived most of his life in Vernon County before moving to the Kansas City area. He loved music and nature, but most important was his faith. He served many years as the music director for Calvary Baptist Church in Nevada, Mo. He always encouraged others and had a positive perspective. He lived his life by the scripture "This is the day the Lord hath made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."
He was preceded in death by his wife, Alta Faye Collins, in 2009; his parents; and siblings Opal Lorane Prouty, Gladys Veneta Haynes, Wilma Adaline Geller and Marshall Dee Collins.
He is survived by his children, James Earl Collins and wife, Janis, of Nevada, Mo., William Wesley Collins and wife, Melinda, of Raymore, Mo., Marvalee Faye Collins of Olathe, Kan., and Peggy Jean Bonine and husband, Bill, of Gardner, Kan.; sister, Mildred Bea Kinghorn, state of Kansas; 17 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.
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