March 29, 1940 -- December 23, 2016
George Washington Collins III, age 76, of Council Bluffs passed away December 23, 2016.
He was born at home on the farm in Crescent, Iowa on March 29, 1940 to the late George and Dorothy (Pike) Collins. George graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1958. George attended the University of Iowa and the University of Nebraska at Omaha, earning his BS in education and MA in Special Education and administration. He was a lifelong advocate for the deaf community and held positions as… a teacher, houseparent, counselor, and wrestling coach over his ten years at Iowa School for the Deaf.
Many Sunday afternoons, his young family joined him for lunch and a movie at ISD. Later he worked in administrative roles including principal and superintendent over a period of twelve years at Nebraska School for the Deaf. Throughout his life, you could often see George absent-mindedly finger spelling as he was deep in thought or in the middle of a conversation.
Many knew George from his later career--twenty-six years as a realtor and realtor manager in Council Bluffs. He enjoyed publishing his Grilling Realtor to his clientele during this time. At his retirement, he said he could have gone on working a few more years but it didn't seem like a good way to spend his money! And ever since retirement he said he would laugh uncontrollably every time he drove by an Open House.
George has been an essential member of Deaf Missions Board of Directors for 36 years. He served as Kiwanis President and various board chairs for 26 years. He has been a long-time supporter of Lewis Central and President of the LC Booster Club and PTA. He served as President of UNO Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa. He has been an active member of First Christian Church, having served as a deacon, serving communion, and leading the scholarship committee. He was a dedicated solicitor for Wish-and-Spin which has been one of the primary fundraisers supporting Kiwanis' mission of improving the world one child and one community at a time.
George loved grilling, golfing, visiting his kids, serving the deaf community, and dancing at the Center. He was a diehard Hawkeye and Cornhusker fan and rarely missed one of their football games on radio or TV. A clock on the wall in his house states "In this home we cherish family and friends" and this is emblematic of George. He loved a big party and was fond of hosting family gatherings at his house, which were enjoyed by all.
Later in life, his son Curtis' career aboard cruise lines introduced George and Sharon to ballroom dancing and afforded them the opportunity to travel on 18 different cruises, visiting 41 different countries. George never met a stranger and you could often find him at the center of the laughter at any gathering.
In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his sisters Jacqueline Stokes and Janice Riepe.
George is survived by his wife of 56 years, Sharon (Jones) Collins; sons Kevin (Paige) Collins and Gregory (Cindy) Collins of Oronoco, MN, Curtis Collins of Los Angeles, CA, Christopher (Karolyn) Collins of Windsor, CO; and grandchildren Aryssa Raine, 16, of Burlington, CO; Sarah Lyn, 6, and Michael Christopher, 4, of Windsor, CO; and brother Thomas (Linda) Collins of Omaha, NE.
George will also be greatly missed by the children and grand-children of Cindy (Prigge) Collins: Jeff and Jen Prigge and children Grace, Peighton, and Jameson; Lisa Prigge and Maks Karpyak and child Lazarus.
Memorial service is 3:00p.m. on Friday December 30, 2016 at the Hoy-Kilnoski Funeral Home. The family will receive friends during the hour prior to the service and there will be a time of fellowship following the service in the community room at Hoy-Kilnoski. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Deaf Missions (www.deafmissions.com)
Thanks to Hoy-Kilnoski Funeral Home, Council Bluffs, Iowa for the information.