William Russell "Bill" Collins (1943 - 2019)

5 entries
  • "Learning all this about Bill has made me wish even more..."
    - Deanne Lessley
  • "Please accept my sincere condolences for the loss of your..."
  • "Bill and I served on the worship team for several years. ..."
    - Steenie Johnson
  • "Thinking of you, Bill, as we celebrate your life, legacy,..."
    - Mary Jacks
  • "Sylvia, so sorry for your loss. It was a joy to know you..."
    - Bonnie Welte
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Service Information
Memorial service
Saturday, Sep. 21, 2019
2:00 PM
Felida Bible Church
3027 NW 119th Street
Vancouver, WA
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August 16, 1943 ˜ July 11, 2019

William “Bill” Russell Collins, beloved husband of Sylvia Collins, passed away July 11, 2019 at the age of 75. Bill was a wonderful brother and uncle. He impacted so many relationships as a teacher, coach and friend.
Bill was born to Russ and Iva Collins on August 16, 1943 in Seattle, Washington and was fortunate to grow up with a large extended family that lived nearby. His growing up years were considered idyllic. Attending Renton High School, Bill excelled in football and received the President’s Award for Citizenship.
Bill attended Western Washington State College where he joined the wrestling team and earned a teaching degree in 1965. Bill later attained a Master’s in Counseling from Lewis & Clark College.
Bill’s teaching career led him to Ridgefield High School in southern Washington state. Teaching a combined load of PE and Biology classes, Bill still found time to coach football, wrestling and tennis. Under Coach Bill, the football team won the Trico League Championship in 1970. As head wrestling coach, Bill led his teams to 2nd place finishes in the State Championships in 1969 and 1973. Bill particularly enjoyed the mentoring and relational aspects of coaching.
After 27 years of teaching at Ridgefield High, Bill “sort of” retired. The teacher/coach in him led him to further serving people, this time in a position in the ER at Southwest Washington Medical Center. Bill worked in this capacity for 10 years and then became licensed and practiced massage therapy before truly “retiring”.
Bill and Sylvia met at Ridgefield High School and were married 47 years. They built 3 homes in Clark County, Washington and most recently spent winters in Green Valley, Arizona. Over the years, national and international travel was something they enjoyed together. In Vancouver, they worshipped at Felida Bible Church and Evangelical Free Church in Green Valley.
Bill’s faith in Jesus was the foundation of his adult life, leading to his reputation as a man of integrity with a servant’s heart. Although Bill served in various leadership and teaching positions at church, he was never one to seek the limelight. Bill was content to serve God and others behind the scenes. For years, he made coffee every Sunday morning for his fellow worshippers, volunteered on a construction crew that built three church buildings, did volunteer fire fighting, prepared and delivered meals to his mother-in-law following her stroke, and quietly came along side folks in time of crisis. Bill also faithfully spent time in God’s Word and in prayer for others.
Earlier in his adult life, Bill pursued bow hunting, photography and running. He ran the Portland Marathon and did the Hood to Coast Relay with fellow teachers. He got some great photos of the Mt. St. Helens eruption and did wedding photography as well as taught it at the high school. In retirement, he enjoyed pickleball, sharing his one-liner humor with others, and visiting with friends. As his health waned in the latter part of his life, Bill found reading biographies, and writing poetry to be of enjoyment. Although Lewy Body Dementia slowed him cognitively, Bill continued to be a loving and affirming husband.
Bill is survived by the love of his life, Sylvia; his sister, Kathy Johnson of Kent, Washington; and several cousins, nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 21 at 2p.m. at Felida Bible Church, 3027 NW 119th Street, Vancouver, WA. A subsequent memorial will be held in Green Valley, Arizona in January 2020.
Donations may be made to GideonsInternational.org or lbd.org in memory of Bill.
Please sign his guest book @ www.columbian.com/obits
Published in The Columbian on Sept. 8, 2019
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