John R. Collins, 97, of Ashland died Thursday, July 2, 2020, at Walker Nursing Home in Virginia.
He was born June 22, 1923, the son of Howard and Grayce McBride Collins. He married Mary Virginia Klein on June 9, 1946, in Ashland, and she preceded him in death on June 13, 2005.
He is survived by survived by many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his wife; three brothers, Franklin Collins, H.J. “Junior” Collins, and Bob Collins; and one sister, Betty Lewis.
Mr. Collins was a 1941 graduate of Virginia High School. He was a World War II veteran of the U.S. Marines, serving in the Pacific Theatre. After his discharge, he farmed from 1946-50, then worked at Richland Elevator from 1950-52. In 1953, he began a long career as the Cass County Circuit Clerk, retiring in 1988. He was a former president of the Illinois Court Clerks Association, and had worked with Prosthesis Support Groups and Lincoln Land Community College Therapy Class. He was also a member of the National Safety Council and had spoken to many groups about farm safety.
John was a veteran of the U.S. Marines, and a life member of the American Legion and the V.F.W. He was a licensed Real Estate Broker for over 35 years, a salesman for DeKalb Seed Company for over 40 years, and had been an Illinois High School Association (IHSA) basketball referee. His family and friends will miss his sharp mind and quick wit.
A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, July 6, at Pleasant Plains Cemetery. The family will meet friends 12:30-1:00 p.m. at the cemetery prior to the service.
Memorials are suggested to the Walker Nursing Home Staff. The Buchanan & Cody Funeral Home in Ashland is in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be left at buchanancody.com.