LOIS IRENE (SMITH) COLLINS
February 5, 1929 ˜ March 17, 2021
Lois Irene (Smith) Collins, 92, died March 17, in Vancouver, WA, where she lived with her husband Harlan at The Quarry Retirement Community. Lois and Harlan established a home in Vancouver in 1984, moving to The Quarry in 2019.
Lois was born on a farm near Clark, SD, on Feb. 5, 1929, to Marie (Coleman) Smith and Joseph Smith, the fourth of five children. The family moved to Dow City, IA, on the death of her grandfather Smith in 1936, and lived there throughout her school years. Lois spoke fondly of life in that small town, of going to the same high school her parents graduated from, and of the Methodist Church that became an important part of her life. Wherever she lived, she was a dedicated member of the United Methodist Church.
Attending Iowa State University in Ames, Lois was a member of the Kappa Delta sorority and earned a BS degree in Home Economics in 1951. Her first teaching job was in Brighton, CO, where she met her husband. Lois and Harlan were married in Dow City in the Methodist Church Aug. 7, 1954.
They lived in Rapid City, SD, for the next eight years where Harlan began a career with the National Resource Conservation Service, and Lois taught in the high school for one year before the birth of their first son, Mark, in 1955. Their two other sons, Greg and Bruce, were born in Rapid City in 1957 and 1960.
When the family transferred to Kailua, HI, in 1962 Lois loved living there. The boys have fond memories of playing on the beach while listening to mom and friends play ukulele. She enjoyed learning of the “aloha spirit” culture on the beautiful island during the five years she lived there.
The next stop for the family was Portland, OR, where they moved in 1967. They joined the Vermont Hills Methodist Church where Lois was active and her sons grew up as part of the church youth group. Her three sons finished their education in Oregon, all graduating as electrical engineers from Oregon State University. Everywhere they lived, Lois was dedicated to making a good home for her family, welcoming daughters-in-law and grandchildren. She was always an important part of her extended family, including her brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, as well as Harlan’s parents and sister and brother, and their families. This continued when her husband retired in 1980 and they moved across the river to Vancouver in 1984 and became part of the Mill Plain United Methodist Church.
Lois Irene (Smith) Collins is survived by her husband, Harlan Collins; sons, Mark (Cheryl) Collins, Greg Collins and Bruce (Maureen) Collins. She is also survived by three grandsons and a great granddaughter. Her parents, brothers and sisters are deceased. Cremation has taken place and burial will be at the Dow City IA Cemetery at a later date.
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