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Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 6,882
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Richard F. “Dick” Collins, age 78, of Henderson, Minnesota died on Sunday, February 26, 2017 at this home. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 2, 2017 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Henderson. Visitation will be on Wednesday, March 1, at the Kolden Funeral Home in Henderson from 3:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. and again on Thursday morning until 10: 40 a.m. Interment, with military honors, will be in the St. Joseph’s Church Cemetery. He was born on December 26, 1938 in Jessenland Township, Sibley County to Michael and Duane (Nyblom) Collins. Dick graduated from Henderson High School and joined the U. S. Navy and was honorably discharged in 1962. He married Katherine Joan “Kitty Jo” Walsh on January 21, 1961 at St. Joseph’s Church in Henderson. Dick operated IWAY Auto Parts in St. Peter nearly 20 years before working over 18 years with Silgan (American Can Company) in Savage. Dick was a retired member of the Henderson Fire Department and a member of the Henderson American Legion Post # 74.

Survivors include his wife, Kitty Jo
Children, James (Denise) Collins of Eagan, Timothy (Tamie) Collins of Wasea, Daniel (Beth) Collins of Elk River and Sara (Doug) Pfarr of Le Sueur.

12 Grandchildren

Siblings, Joseph (Darlene) Collins of Austin, Marvel Curtis of Mankato, Jean Bakke of Rice Lake, WI, and Tom Collins of Belle Plaine and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Larry VanBuskirk of Ottawa, Bill and Lorraine Walsh of Gaylord and Shirley and Gene Brandt of Mankato. He was preceded in death by his parents, grandson, Kyle Pfarr; sister, Betty VanBuskirk and father-in-law and mother-in-law, Matt and Margaret Walsh and brothers-in-law, Harold Curtis and Gene Bakke

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 473
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Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 473
I will surely miss my friend and neighbor, Dick Collins. It will be a lonesome spring and summer. Whenever I was doing something outside or sitting on the front porch, if Dick was out and about he usually stopped to shoot the breeze. Many nights we BSed until dark or until the mosquitos drove us inside. He was always willing to help out with whatever I was doing. He has been that way for as long as I can remember.
My earliest memory of Dick was when I was a senior in high school and had my first 48 Plymouth. Dick had a coupe similar to my sedan. The single brake light in the middle of the trunk was not working and Dick let me know about it and, of course, fixed it for me. That started a lifelong friendship. When I joined the fire dept. he was one of my mentors. We worked hard on many projects but we had so much fun. I think of the Eskimo Days and Firemen's Dances, the picnics and other socials that included spouses and I have to smile at the memories. Dick was a very proud fireman and he gave it his all.
I can't begin to list all of the times he helped me personally. When I bought this house he helped me move, he helped me paint, and he and Les Trimbo sheetrocked my back garage. He always said, "Let me know if you need some help."
There were times when I broke down on the route and Les and him would come to the rescue. At each of our 3 sons' graduations Dick and Kitty came over and asked if they could make Kitty's famous turkey salad for their receptions. You simply could not ask for better friends and neighbors.
When I took over running the car cruise for Kraut Days, he asked if he could help register and he did that for several years, Then when the cruise would start Kitty and him would take my old convertible on the cruise. Unfortunately, the past couple years they encountered a cloudburst while on the cruise and I never put the top up. They got soaked!! When I saw him later he just looked at me and shook his head(and maybe has a few choice words about the top!!) The next morning he was up early to help with the tractor ride and on Sunday he helped with parade registration.
When we brought back town team baseball to Henderson 12 years ago I asked Dick if he would consider being in charge of the concession stand and he took that on with great energy. He really seemed to enjoy visiting with the players, fans, and all of the little kids running around. He absolutely loved kids and he enjoyed teasing them when they came up for treats.
In a couple weeks I will really miss him. I always take my old Plymouth to the St. Pats' Parade in LeCenter. For many years at the end of the parade there would be BJ Byrne and Dick waiting so Dick could drive my car back to Henderson and I could continue celebrating.
Dick was a tremendous husband, Dad, and Grandfather. He always tried to make every event that any of the kids were involved in and he was very proud of them all and he adored his wife. I think of many times when Kitty would be telling about one of her escapades. performances,(ask her about backing in to the garage door), or one of her hilarious stories .Dickster would just sit back with that twinkle in his eye and shake his head.
Dick was a fighter. He fought that damn cancer for a long time. When he lost his leg he was determined to get out and about as quickly as possible. He did so well that a lot of people never knew he had a prosthetic leg. But more then he was a fighter he was a giver. He loved Henderson and he gave all of his life .He was active at St. Joseph' and helped there when needed. He never asked for any recognition for all of his involvement in this community but we should all be greatful for everything he did for Henderson. When he left us Sunday, he went to a place where we all hope to get to some day and he's finally getting the recognition for all his giving here on earth.
God bless you Dick-Rest in Peace!

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