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1930 Thomas 2018

Thomas W. Collins

September 19, 1930 — August 19, 2018

Thomas Collins, beloved husband, father, grandfather, teacher and mentor died August 19, 2018, at the age of 87, surrounded by his family.
Thomas W. Collins was born September 19, 1930, to Knightiabel and Willard Collins in Murphysboro, IL, where he was raised and attended school. He earned his bachelor's degree in 1952 at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL, majoring in zoology. He was awarded a Fulbright Grant to study at the University of Vienna, Austria, during the 1952-53 school year and was a National Foundation pre-doctoral fellow. He had a teaching assistantship at the University of Minnesota while working on his doctorate. He was drafted in 1956 and served two years in Military Intelligence in the U.S. Army. In 1967, he received his Doctorate in Zoology from the University of Minnesota with a specialization in freshwater biology.
Tom began his teaching career at Minnesota State University Moorhead (then Moorhead State College). During his tenure at MSUM he was a dedicated member of the university community and contributed to the development of students for more than three decades. He taught nearly every type of course offered in the department including large liberal studies lecture classes, service classes in Human Anatomy and Physiology, Limnology, Ichthyology and senior/graduate level courses in Comparative Anatomy. He was an advisor for seminars and senior research projects. His contributions to MSUM students were not limited to the classroom. He was most instrumental in helping shape the concept of what is now the Regional Science Center and worked closely in developing aquatic programs. He served on the Advisory Board and after retiring in May 1996, volunteered countless hours working with faculty and students in the public-school system as they visited the Science Center for field trips and various outings.
In 1994 he was awarded the Burlington Northern Foundation's Award for Excellence in Teaching. He supported his students' endeavors in many different ways and was named one of Moorhead State's Outstanding Faculty Advisors for 1989-90. Tom was accomplished in many things, but he'll be most remembered for his love of family, his devout faith, and devotion to his church community and the many students he mentored. To quote: "The students are my judge and jury and how well prepared for his or her next step is my concern."
Numerous passions in Tom's life included bow hunting, fishing, golfing, hiking, water color painting and raising and nurturing orchids. The ever-teaching aspect of his life included many "orchid growing talks" around the area, sharing his good and bad experiences. Tom and his wife Linda have many memories of traveling, visiting family and friends, and volunteering. A highlight was teaching English to Chinese students in Changchun, China in 1998.
Tom led an active life until a major stroke in 2010 robbed him of his speech and ability to walk but not his spirit and positive outlook. His endearing ways and smile created ways of communicating with others in a nonverbal way. He maintained his love of family and friends and he cherished his career with which he was blessed and that granted him years of many rewards and fond memories.
He is survived by Linda, his wife of 52 years; son, Jim (Angie) Collins of Chandler, TX; sister, Mary Guida of Murphysboro, IL; sister-in-law, Nancy (Tom) James of Overland Park, KS; five grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A warm and grateful thank you to the staff for the care received while residing at Eventide on eighth in Moorhead.
Celebration of Life Service will be Thursday, August 23, 2018, at 2 PM in Grace United Methodist Church, 1120 17th St. S., Moorhead, MN, with a visitation one-hour prior. Interment will be at Riverside Cemetery, Moorhead, at a later date.
Memorial donations can be made to Thomas and Linda Collins Endowed Scholarship, MSUM, Alumni Foundation, 1104 7th Ave. S., Moorhead, MN 56560; Grace United Methodist Church, Moorhead; or a charity of your choice.



Visitation

AUG 23. 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM (CT)

Grace United Methodist Church

1120 17th Street South

Moorhead, MN 56560

Memorial Service

AUG 23. 2:00 PM (CT)

Grace United Methodist Church

1120 17th Street South

Moorhead, MN 56560

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