Muriel Christopher Collins
Muriel Christopher Collins, inspector with the Mississippi Department of Transportation in Meridian, died after a short illness on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017, in Meridian. Funeral services will be held Friday, Dec. 29 at Pine Grove Baptist Church in House, where he was a lifelong member serving as a deacon, Sunday school superintendent, discipleship training director and for 40 years as church secretary. Interment will follow in the church’s cemetery.
Mr. Collins was born in Union on May 23, 1931, the son of Alexander Grover McQuilla “Quill” Collins and Izzie Kathleen Killen Collins.
His priorities were faith and family. He loved family time where he played marathon guitar sessions and everyone sang along with him to his gospel and heritage country favorites. Reliable, neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stayed him from always coming to the rescue of his family in each and every moment of need. The consummate family man, he was happiest when his children and grandchildren were gathered around his table to share a meal of fresh vegetables from his garden and celebrate life.
Having spent his boyhood years walking to town, he was obsessed with transportation and could tell you the year, make and model of every car on the road. An all-around talent with a special gift for math, he knew hard work and most enjoyed hours at woodwork, tinkering, working on the tractor, and mechanical design, even to the machined embroidery on his children’s Christmas stockings.
He enjoyed dove and quail hunting and loved to eat peanut butter. Late in life he embraced the internet which provided a vigorous email correspondence, the thrill of quick, easy access to vintage Grand Ole Opry episodes, the curation of old House School photographs and kept him abreast of his grandchildren’s pursuits.
Meek and precious of spirit, he said of himself, “I have never done anything that needs to be recognized as great.” He drew his energy from socializing with people and there were no strangers in his world. He reveled in all social occasions, services, events, school reunions and church gatherings, embracing his God given gift of encouragement by investing in people.
The youngest of seven siblings, he knew his role as shepherd to all his loved ones and regularly kept check with diligent calls and visits. He enjoyed marking others’ life events and understood the value of time by always going out of his way to express gratitude for one willing to share their time with him. Mr. Collins took special delight in writing friends to congratulate their performances, successes and accomplishments, often signing off missives with his signature smiley face.
Mr. Collins was preceded in death by his father and mother; five sisters, Vera Herrington, Eva Smith, Irene Smith, Lorene Gordon and Pearl Morris; and a brother, Earl Collins.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Bonnie JoAnne Ethridge Collins; his son, Chris Collins, and his wife, Tammy, of Union; his daughters, Sandra Valentine, and her husband, Ken, of Edmond, Okla., and Jennifer Johnson, and her husband, Craig, of Brandon, and 10 grandchildren, Katie Collins, Muriel Collins, Alexander Collins, Olivia Collins, Sarah Valentine, John Valentine, Mark Valentine, Andrew Valentine, Georgia Grace Valentine and Quill Johnson.