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On Friday, September 28, we said our goodbyes to Robert "Bob" L. Collins, Jr., our beloved husband, father, son, brother, uncle, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend.
He was a man of service, compassion, and love to all he knew. Bob devoted nearly 40 years of his life with his full time job serving others in need, while working at the Department of Human Services. Also, he followed his passion for the medical field and began additional part time work as a licensed paramedic with Mercy Ambulance and later provided in home health care with Health Care Associates. As a first responder and always prepared to help, he often was among the first called at DHS when a medical emergency arose and he pulled over at any accident or situation along life’s way to assist the injured. For many years when his kids were young, Bob also adopted the roll of facility’s deacon at Kentwood Christian Church and additionally took care of the custodial needs of the church and its daycare, KCDC.
In his free time, Bob loved singing with the KCC choir and later spent many years devoted to the Calvary Church choir. Bob’s love for music continued as he acquired a pedal steel guitar in recent years and spent many hours practicing skills and enjoying it’s unique sound. Bob loved nature and with his family he enjoyed various camping trips over the years to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula sightseeing and taking long naps where he could hear the waves.
Life took an unexpected turn in 2013 when Bob, who was a lifelong nonsmoker, was first diagnosed with lung cancer. The cause remains undetermined but was most likely due to environmental factors. He battled his condition with courage and determination for 5 1/2 years while always looking forward to a day when he would feel better. Through many years, 3 lung surgeries, radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy, his treatments were helpful giving our family the blessing of more time together. Bob faced these treatments bravely and with resolve. It wasn’t until the final few months that treatment no longer proved beneficial. When all other options were exhausted, Bob participated in a clinical trial with the hope that if it didn’t help him directly, it may help someone else in the future. His focus then turned to resting and enjoying moments with family. We have now entrusted him into the arms of his loving Father in heaven, and we are forever grateful for every moment we were given with him. We are also thankful for the compassionate medical care he received over the years.
Bob is survived in life by his wife Nan, his children Hillary Collins, Aaron Collins, Jenna (David) Noonon, Jonathan (Jenn) Collins, Daniel (Hannah) Collins and their families. He is also survived by his mother Frances Collins and his siblings Pat (Kay) Collins, Carla (Roger) Jenkins, and Shirley Housler as well as his 5 grandchildren,1 great grandchild, and many nieces and nephews. Our family will greatly miss him for all of our remaining days on this earth, but we rest in knowing that he is no longer in pain. Bob’s legacy of love and service to others will live on through each of his family and his memory will not be forgotten.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Bob’s name to the U of M Rogel Cancer Center Lung Cancer Program where he received much of his care. Visit https://victors.us/robertlcollins to make a gift.
Visitation is 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Wednesday October 10, 2018 at Metcalf & Jonkhoff Funeral Service. A Sevice and Celebration of Bob’s life will be at 11 AM at Calvary Church 707 East Beltline NE Grand Rapids with a visitation starting at 10 AM.