Walther H. Collins
Class of 1948
Elsewhere - Walter H. Collins, 84, of Islamorada, Florida departed
on his final voyage on March 15, 2014 after a courageous battle
against ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease).
Walter "Chief" was born in Indiantown, Florida to Bryant E. and
Harriet S. Collins on October 5, 1929. He went to Cradock High
School in Portsmouth, VA and graduated in 1948. He went on to serve
in the U.S. Army in Korea. Returning to Portsmouth, he and his
father established Collins Machine Works (CMW). While in Virginia he
was a brother of the fraternal order of the Freemasons where he
furthered his learnings and became a member of the Shriners. He was
also a member of the Portsmouth Boat Club. He retired from CMW in
1980 and relocated to Islamorada, Florida. He and his son, Walter H.
Collins, Jr. bought Coral Bay Marina. They worked side by side until
1996 when he decided to take a second retirement and cruise and
travel the world with his wife Debby. Active in the Rotary Club and
the Islamorada Moose Lodge he was a man of great integrity, a
well-respected businessman and mentor, taking pride in his
community. He was always happy to give his advice on any topic. He
enjoyed boating, cruising, RVing, and was an accomplished sailor and
Walter is preceded in death by his parents; a sister Ila Adams; and
two brothers B.E. Collins, Jr. and Randolph Collins.
Walter is survived by his wife, Deborah, son Walter "Buddy" and his
wife, Jo; two daughters Lori Davis and Christine Walton both of
Virginia; his step-sons Robert M. Parks and Christian H. Parks of
Florida; two sisters Kaye Garrison and her husband Bert of South
Carolina and Carolyn Martinez and her husband Nef of Delaware.
Walter was also survived by four Grandchildren, Lori Lea Nelms
(Ryan), Sharon Walton, Tiffany Walton and Dax Collins, four
great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Walter was a wonderful brother, husband, father, grandfather, and
most importantly a friend to many. He will be dearly missed but
often remembered and celebrated.
The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the MDA, the ALS
Clinic at the University of Miami and Baptist Hospital for all their
support in his final days. Per his wishes, the family is planning a
private memorial service in the near future.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in his honor to
The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) 4901 NW 17th Way, Ft.
Lauderdale, Florida 33309.
Published in The Virginian Pilot on Mar. 30, 2014