Leon L. Collins, 74, of Grand Island, NE, died Thurs., May 23, 2013, at Tiffany Square Care Center in Grand Island.
Funeral services were held at 10:30 a.m. on Tues., May 28 at Peace Lutheran Church in Grand Island, with the Rev. Michael Reiners officiating. Burial was at Westlawn Memorial Park. Apfel Funeral Home is caring for the family.
Memorials are suggested to Peace Lutheran Church, Heartland Lutheran School and Trinity Lutheran School.
Leon was born Oct. 22, 1938, at Ord, NE, the son of Vernon and Marie (Johnson) Collins. When he was six months old, his father was killed in a farming accident. His mother then married Ernest Kuehner in 1941. He attended District 32 School through the eighth grade. He graduated from Phillips High School in 1956. He entered the U.S. Navy on Aug. 31, 1956, and was honorably discharged on July 28, 1959.
Leon was united in marriage to Charlene Hilligas on May 29, 1960, at Zion Lutheran Church in Hampton. The couple lived in Grand Island, North Platte, and Lexington. They have lived the past 45 years in Grand Island. He worked and retired after 30 years for Northwestern Bell Telephone Company. After retirement, he went on to work for several other telecommunication companies.
Leon was a Charter Member of Peace Lutheran Church in Grand Island. He was an usher and sang in the choir at Peace Lutheran Church. He enjoyed fishing, playing guitar, and singing. He took pride in keeping his yard immaculate. He loved his grandchildren and was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He truly adored his wife, Charlene, and was very blessed to have shared nearly 53 years of wedded bliss.
Those left to cherish his memory are his wife, Charlene of Grand Island; two sons, Steve Collins of Grand Island and Mike Collins of Cairo and his special friend, Gian Baxter-Roberts of Lincoln; two grandchildren, Ashley Collins and Shayla Collins, both of Grand Island; a brother and sister-in-law, Ronald and Elinor Kuehner of Blue Hill; two sisters and a brother-in-law, Cheryl Kuehner of Albion and Karen and Mark Sullivan of Doniphan; and a brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Deryl and Pati Hilligas of Hampton.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Janice McIntyre.