He was born in Birchwood on May 2, 1931, a son of the late Jay and Annie Collins.
He worked for many years and retired with 40 years of service from the Bowater Southern Paper Corporation in Calhoun.
He was an avid sports enthusiast, having played baseball, basketball and been a champion bowler in the Athens area. He took great pride in his family, and his grandchildren and great-grandson were the light of his life.
In addition to his parents, he wass preceded in death by two sisters: Jo Ann Collins and Ina Mae Gibson; one brother, Ronnie Collins; mother-in-law, Alma Price; and one brother-in-law, John Gibson.
He leaves behind to cherish his memory his loving and devoted wife of 55 years, Betty Sparks Collins; one son, James Lynn Collins and his wife, Betty; two daughters: Lisa Nelson and her husband, Terry, and Linda Freeman; six grandchildren: T. J. Nelson and fiancé, Shauna Welch, Dustin Nelson, Joshua Gary, Tanner Collins, Amanda Nelson and Annie Freeman; one great-grandson, Carson Gary; four sisters: Murriel Seaborn, Beth Mooneyham (Earl), Francis Brown (James) and Clara Stinnett (Jerry); three brothers: Harold Collins (Mary), Paul Collins (Belinda) and Gene Collins (Sue); father-in-law, James Price; two brothers-in-law: Tom Sparks (Lavenia) and Jimmy Price (Jewell); and numerous other extended family members and friends.
A celebration of his life is planned for 3 p.m. today, April 28, 2013, at Boyd Memorial First Church of God, located on 1130 Congress Parkway Highway 11 N. in Athens, with the Rev. Jeff Stinnett officiating.
Interment will follow in the Cedar Grove Cemetery with military honors. The grandsons, great-grandson, Steve Partain and Conn Comerford will serve as pallbearers.
The family will receive friends at the church on this afternoon from 1 to the 3 p.m. service time.
You are encouraged to share a memory of Tooter and/or your personal condolences with his family by visiting his memorial webpage and guest book at www.companionfunerals.com.
Companion Funeral & Cremation Service and the Cody family are honored to assist the Collins family with these arrangements.