June 24, 1920 – September 6, 2016 Ottie Steve “O. S.” Collins, Bells , Texas. World War II Veteran Born June 24th, 1920 at Carpenter’s Bluff, Grayson County, Texas.
He died at home with family on September 6th, 2016 at the age of 96. Full Military rites will be conducted by Sheppard Air Force Base Honor Guard. With Mullican-Little Funeral Home in charge and Rev. Virgil Cornwell conducting the graveside service.
He was the son of Charles Henry and Lula Lee Owens Collins. He was the second of six children.
In 1936 he joined the CCC’s and worked in Wyoming. Reenlisted again in 1938. In Feb 5, 1942 he enlisted in the Army-Air Corp at Perrin Field in Denison, Texas.
On September 9, 1946 he married Ethylene Bradley in Anna, Collin County, Texas. They were married three days shy of 70 years. They were first stationed in Panama City, Florida. In 1947 he was sent to Anchorage, Alaska. From there he was stationed in Jackson, Mississippi, Enid, Oklahoma and returned to Perrin Field three times.
In 1956 the family was stationed at Clark AFB in the Philippine Islands. At that time Ramon Magsaysay was President and as a good will gesture President Eisenhower gave him a personal airplane. It was refueled at Clark AFB and went on to its first destination. It was there that he received a basket of apples containing a bomb. All were killed. The base was put on Alert, their people thinking our nation was responsible for his death. It was a trying time as the government considered evacuating all dependants.
During this time his wife Ethylene was allowed to return to Texas on a family emergency. Her Father, Forrest Lee Bradley was operated on for cancer. The children were not allowed to leave and she returned to the Islands when transportation was found for her.
After the Philippines they were sent to Gray AFB across from Ft. Hood where Elvis was stationed.
In 1962 he was stationed at Whitman AFB in Knob Noster, Missouri where he received a medal for saving a neighbor who was unconscious from an electrical shock. In 1962 he also received a medal for his work fighting the results of an airplane explosion at Whitman AFB. It was during this time that we had the Cuban Crisis. Again we were put on Alert and at first it was decided none of the dependant would attend school, which was off base. Because the people in the area might panic if no children showed up, this idea wasn’t feasible. He served during WWII, Korean War and part of Viet Nam. He retired from Whitman AFB in 1963 after buying a farm in Ector, Texas where he did house moving and long haul truck driving. In 1967 he joined the MKT railroad as a Carman. His brother J.W. Collins joined him as did his son-in-law, Roy Jaynes who became his boss and Foreman. He retired from the Katy in 1985.
He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings, Charles Luther Collins, Margaret Ward, Floyd Collins, J.W. “Jim” Collins and Tressie Lucille Ferguson and his son-in-law P. Roy Jaynes in 1986. He lost his grandsons Lynn Dale Burkhalter in 1996 and John Travis Jaynes in 2000.
He’s survived by his wife, Ethylene of the home, daughter Rita Dale Burkhalter (Mack) of Livingston, Texas; Daughter Lynda June Jaynes of Bells and son Edward Steve Collins (Jackie Morris) of Denison, Texas.
He’s survived by grandchildren: Bob Mack Burkhalter, Jr. (Tammy) Kimberley Dawn Jaynes, Rhonda Lei Ann Jaynes Withrow, (Kyle), Bradley Steve Collins (Michelle Gaines), Joe Chance Collins (April Brown)
Great grandchildren: James Burkhalter, Monica Robinson, Dalton Withrow, Phoebe, Mallory, Kyann, Kinley and Kole Collins.
Great-great grand children Dakota Shane Robinson and Deven Kane Giles. They celebrated a double 5 generations in 2005.
As he requested, there will be no family night and only graveside services at Rose Hill Cemetery in Bells on Friday September 9th at 11:30.
We thank everyone for their prayers and Home Hospice for their care and support.