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In Memoriam


Walther H. Collins
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 boat captain.

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