Our beloved mother, Helen Marie Collins, 98, of Royal City passed away Thursday, Aug. 13, 2009, at home surrounded by her family.

Helen was born Nov. 18, 1910 in Burbank, S.D. to Michael and Julia Clifford. Mother was the oldest of eight children. Her father passed away when mom was a teenager so her early years were spent helping her mom care for her younger brothers and sisters.

Mom graduated from the University of South Dakota. She taught school in the area for several years. We always enjoyed mom sharing her love of teaching with us. She told of riding her horse to school, starting a fire in a cold classroom, and often fixing something warm for the students to eat in the winter months. Mom used that same warmth raising us three children.

Mom married our dad, Kenneth Collins, June 23, 1938 in Vermillion, S.D. They moved west in the early 1940s, where dad pursued a career in the hydro-electric field.

Mom made her home the last 17 years in Royal City.

She is survived by her sons, Mike (Charlene) Collins of Pasco and Ken (Peggy) Collins of North Bonnewille; her daughter, Pat (Darrell) Cockrum of Royal City; her grandsons, Bob (Romi) Cockrum, Michael (Sherry) Collins, Ken (Wendy) Collins Jr., Drue (LeAnna) Collins, Troy (Tara) Kirk and Tony (Tammy) Kirk; her granddaughters, Michele (Greg) Scroggins, Cindy (Jeff) Fuller, Darina (Darren) Bateman and Trisha (Matt) Hamilton. Mom was also survived by her sister, Dorthy Wensel of Vermillion; and several special grand and great-grandchildren.

Mom leaves us with so many special memories that she will be with us for many years to come.

Helen was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth Collins.

Viewing for Helen Marie Collins will be held today, Aug. 17, 2009, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with a Rosary to follow at Valley Hills Funeral Home in Sunnyside. Mass of Christian Burial will be held Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009, at 10:30 a.m., with burial to follow at Lower Valley Memorial Gardens.

Valley Hills Funeral Home in Sunnyside is in charge of arrangements.


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