Heron Sherwood Collins

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HERON SHERWOOD COLLINS, born November 17, 1922, in Charlotte North Carolina, passed away peacefully at his home September 9, 2014, surrounded by his wife, children, and grandchildren who will miss him greatly. A child of the Great Depression, he supported his family delivering newspapers. He learned at an early age the importance of a good education. He was a voracious reader and excelled from an early age in all academic pursuits. He loved sports but could not participate in High School because he had to supplement his family's income working during high school as an automobile mechanic and service station attendant. In 1942, he enlisted in the Army and served until being honorably discharged in 1945. While in the Army he earned the name Rip for his toughness and loyalty to his fellow soldiers. After the war he resumed his academic pursuits graduating Cum Laude from Wofford College, and the University of South Carolina, eventually earning his Ph.D. in Mathematics at Tulane. While attending Tulane, he met Sarah Joyce Harkey, who has been his wife and best friend for the past 62 years. He was a full professor of Mathematics at LSU for 35 years, publishing numerous research papers and proudly mentored many Ph.D. candidates during his tenure. He was known to jump over chairs to wake dozing students, and he will be remembered for his sense of humor. Heron is preceded in death by his parents Thomas Gordon Collins and Freda Huskey Collins, his brothers Gordon and Jerry Collins, and a son, Thomas Welton Collins. He is survived by his wife, Sarah; three children, Rip Collins and spouse Melinda Lorio Collins, daughter Jill Collins Meredith and husband Locke Meredith, and son Bill Collins and wife Hiromi Collins. He is survived by Ten grandchildren: Sarah Collins Bennett and husband Daniel Bennett, Katie Collins Fetzer and husband Peyton Fetzer, Collins Meredith and wife Claudia Meredith, Mitchell Meredith, Troy Collins, Taylor Collins, Madisonne Meredith, Mason Meredith, Hannah Collins, and Mia Collins. One great grandchild Olivia Grace Bennett. Heron was a member of the First Methodist Church Choir for over 50 years. A lifelong lover of music, he passed that love along to his children and grandchildren, and sang tenor in the motet choir for 50 years. A memorial service will be held at the Aldridge Chapel First Methodist Church Baton Rouge at 1 PM with visiting at 12 noon on Friday, September 12, 2014.
Published in TheAdvocate.com from Sept. 10 to Sept. 13, 2014
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