Joseph P. Collins Jr.


unknown - April 21, 2011

Mr. Joseph P. Collins Jr., age 85 years, of Jefferson City, Mo., died Thursday, April 21, 2011, at the Villa Marie Nursing Center. He was born June 30, 1925, in Kansas City, Mo., the son of Joseph P. and Phoebe Maud Farmer Collins. At the age of seven, he and his family moved to a farm south of Camdenton, where he grew up. While in high school, he worked as a tour guide at Ha Ha Tonka. On June 19, 1955, he was united in marriage in Marceline, Mo., to Wilma Jean Klein who survives at the home. He graduated as valedictorian of his class from Camdenton High School. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education from the University of Missouri at Columbia, a Masters degree in education from Lincoln University of Jefferson City, and did graduate work in music and secondary education from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. He also attended workshops for certification in ABE (Adult Basic Education). Joe began his career in the Eugene Public School from 1950 until 1952, teaching math, social studies, and music. He began teaching in the Jefferson City Public Schools in 1953, at Simonsen Junior High School. In 1959, he was appointed assistant principal at Simonsen, becoming principal in 1970. In 1976, he became principal at Jefferson Junior High School, retiring in 1987, with 37 years of teaching and administration. For 12 years, he taught math and algebra night classes at the Missouri State Penitentiary. He also taught algebra for one semester at Lincoln University. After retirement, he taught in the ABE program. He served in the United States Army in World War II and the Korean Conflict, attaining the rank of Sergeant First Class. He received the commendation ribbon with medal pendant for meritorious service for his service in Korea. He was a member of the First Christian Church in Jefferson City, serving on the Worship Committee, the Education Committee, the committee to revise the church constitution, was director of the Youth Choir, and served as a lay minister. He was a member of the Chancel Choir for 51 years, served as a deacon and elder, and was elected elder emeritus in 1997. Joe served as President of the Jefferson City Community Teachers Association, Vice-President and President of the Central Missouri Teachers Association, member of the Missouri State Teachers Association, the Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and the Retired Teachers Association. He was chosen the Retired Teacher of the Year in 2002 by the Cole County unit of the Retired Teachers Association, and as the Retired Educator of the Year from Region Seven of Missouri. He was a member of the AARP and the Gideons International. He loved music and was a member of many music organizations, including the Oratorio Singers, the Jefferson City Symphony Choir, the Missouri Men's Glee Club, the University Singers, and the Jefferson City Cantorum. He appeared in some of the musical productions of the Jefferson City Little Theatre. Survivors include: his wife of 55 years, Wilma Collins; one daughter, Cynthia Marie Collins of Jefferson City, Mo.; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Irene Muse, and one brother, Kenneth Wayne Collins. Visitation will be at Freeman Mortuary from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 26, 2011. Funeral services will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, April 27, 2011, at the First Christian Church with the Reverend Donald Carter officiating. Interment will be at Hawthorn Memorial Gardens. Those desiring may make memorial contributions to the music program at the First Christian Church. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Freeman Mortuary.

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