American Veteran 04

William Collins

March 14, 1942 ~ July 27, 2022 (age 80)

Obituary

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Bill Collins, born March 14, 1942, in Bremerton, WA, passed away on July 27, 2022. A visitation will be held in the Rose Room Chapel at Croxford Funeral Home on Thursday, August 4 from 6pm-8pm. A Funeral Service will be held at First Congregational United Church of Christ on Friday, August 5, at 11am, with a viewing an hour prior.

As a sports fan and someone with a passion for the outdoors, Bill died unexpectedly while on a fishing trip to Holter Lake – a place he found to be a source of joy and relaxation for many years.

Bill met his wife Gloria while in high school, but it wasn’t until they were both in college that the sparks ignited. They were married in 1962 and Bill enlisted in the Navy where he served active duty and in the reserves until 1967. Following his service in the Navy, Bill returned to Billings to finish his degree and pursue a teaching career. Bill and Gloria moved to Clyde, Alberta - Canada for the next year when Bill secured his first teaching contract. At the end of that year in Canada, Bill was offered a position as a teacher for the Great Falls Public Schools and would remain in the school system as a History teacher and Counselor for the next 33 years until his retirement in 1998. Bill was a proud coach of football, wrestling, track, and basically anything with a ball that his kids, Bill and Scott, were playing at the time. Bill most notably was a member of the coaches for the Great Falls High School team that won the State Championship in 1983 and again in 1988.

Bill was fond of the outdoors and served as a Boy Scout in his youth where he was first introduced to camping, another passion for Bill and his family. Summers were filled with trips to the coast, the mountains, and of course the surrounding lakes where fishing and other water sports were enjoyed.

In retirement, Bill and Gloria found a welcoming community in Naples, Florida, and would spend the next 20 years basking in the warm weather from December to May while enjoying golfing, fishing, dancing, and “Happy Hour” with their many new found friends. Bill and Gloria would then return to Montana for the summer and more specifically to spend time with their grandchildren. Bill had a special bond with each of his grandchildren and shared his passions with them as well. Camping trips continued to be a part of Bill’s life and in the past year he spent time at Glacier National Park as well as his favorite – Holter Lake.

Bill is survived by his wife Gloria, his son Bill (Christeen) Collins, grandchildren Bailey, Jacob, and Sam Collins, Sister Vickie (Mike) Carter, and Brother John Collins. Bill is preceded in death by his son Scott Collins, and his parents Bill and Phyllis Collins.

Donations can be made to the Great Falls Public Schools Foundation in memory of Bill.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of William Collins, please visit our floral store.

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Services

Visitation
Friday
August 5, 2022

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
First Congregational United Church of Christ (Rose Room Chapel, Croxford Funeral Home)

Funeral Service
Friday
August 5, 2022

11:00 AM
First Congregational United Church of Christ

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