1st SGT Robert Richard Collins, United States Army
Much loved and now missed by many, Bob Collins was born on July 30, 1931 in Brooklyn, New York to Alice McCarthy and Lincoln Collins. He was raised by his mother and maternal grandmother, Minnie, on Summit Avenue in Jersey City, New Jersey.
In 1949 Bob enlisted in the US Army serving his country for 26 years. His service included participation in the Berlin Airlift, radioman on the Frankfurt to Berlin Army train through Soviet east Germany, two combat tours in Vietnam and numerous tours overseas. Bob operated the very first US Army communications satellite placed into orbit at the birth of the space age. After retiring from the US Army in 1974 Bob worked for many years for an electrical contractor building nuclear power plants in Virginia and Washington and military facilities in Saudi Arabia.
In 1952 Bob met and married a beautiful member of the British Royal Air Force, Barbara Lester while they were both on R&R in Goslar, Germany. Together they traveled the world as the family moved from duty station to duty station which included Ethiopia, Thailand, multiple tours in Germany, Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC. After living in Lacey, Washington for many years they moved to Whitefish in 2009.
Bob was a member of the Masonic Lodge of Mineral Virginia joining in 1956 and the Boy Scouts of America as a youth and adult.
He is survived by his wife Barbara, daughter Chris Zignego and husband Doug, son Bob and wife Lori; five grandchildren, Matt Zignego, Nick Zignego and wife Mary, Katie Pieterick and husband Kenan, Jake Collins and Emily Collins. And three great grandchildren, Ava, Kealie and Taylin.
A memorial service will be planned at some date in the future. Memorials can be made to the American Legion or the Humane Society in his honor.
Austin Funeral and Cremation Services in Whitefish is caring for Bob’s family.
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