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Edward William Collins, 81

Edward William Collins, 81

Edward William Collins of Hendersonville and Hobe Sound, Fla., passed away on Sunday, July 20, 2014, at the age of 81.

He was born on Jan. 15, 1933, to the late William and Margaret Collins in Philadelphia, Pa. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his daughter, Mary, in 1996; and his brother, Bill Collins, at the age of 60.

He served in the Army Signal Corps from 1953 until 1955. He worked for RCA in Camden, N.J., and retired in 1990 after 38 years of service. Because of his lifelong passion for rhododendrons and azaleas over the years, he was admired and recognized with awards as an enthusiastic leader; sharing his knowledge and skills. His family resided for 27 years in Hoot Owl Estates, Medford, N.J. in the home which he built in his spare time, before relocating to Hendersonville.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Mary; two sons, Edward "Rusty" Collins, Timothy Collins; daughter, Eileen Collins; five grandchildren, Collin, Logan, Ryan, Meaghan, and Bailey.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held 10 a.m. Friday, July 25, 2014, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church with Father Robert Williams officiating. Burial will follow in Shepherd Memorial Park. The family will receive friends from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Thos. Shepherd & Son Funeral Directors.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be directed to Treasure Coast Hospice Crisis Care, 1201 SE Indian Street, Stuart, Fla. 34997; Alzheimer's Association, 3800 Shamrock Drive, Charlotte, NC 28215; or to a charity of one's choice.

An online register book is available for family and friends by visiting

Thos. Shepherd & Son Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements.