Photography

Johnny Collins

March 26, 1940 ~ May 27, 2022 (age 82)

Obituary

After 82 years of growing bounties of ruby red tomatoes, long scratchy pods of okra, turnips as big as softballs and bushels of Sadandy peas, gentleman farmer Johnny R. Collins plowed his last row in his Ohoopee garden on Friday, May 27, 2022.

Johnny was born on March 26, 1940 in a small wooden house across from Collins Chapel in Toombs County. He is preceded in death by his parents, Elza and Joseph “Josie” Bradham Collins, and siblings: Lillian Collins Shaw, Ernest Collins, J.D. Collins, Mary Francis Wright, Elton Collins, and twin brother, Richard Collins.

Johnny was a hard-working, jack-of-all-trades kind of guy with a great affection for tools, boats, Westerns (especially those featuring John Wayne), horses, fishing and Southern cooking. After graduating from Lyons High School in 1960, he enlisted in the US Air Force in 1962 and served his country honorably as a basic airman. After his military service, Johnny earned a living working at the Weyerhaeuser tree farm, Bell telephone company, and the Georgia State Prison, where he retired as a corrections officer after 21 years. He also worked as a tireless volunteer for the Lyons Fire Department and Toombs County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) and recently noted that “helping people during emergencies was some of the most rewarding experiences of his life.”

Years ago, he was a member of the First Baptist Church of Lyons where he drove the church bus and sang in the choir. More recently, he was a frequent visitor to Cedar Creek Primitive Baptist Church in Tattnall County.

He was known for having one of the most beautiful yards west of the Ohoopee River — especially in the springtime when the dogwoods and formosa azaleas were in full bloom.

Johnny treasured family and friends most of all. He was on top of the world at family or class reunions, and he literally never met a stranger and could find a connection with anyone and everyone he encountered, in record time.

He is survived by his wife, Wanda Jarriel Collins, who shared a home and a life with Johnny; his son, Michael “Mike” Collins of Cobbtown; his daughter, Barbara Cornelius (Rusty) of Ardmore, Oklahoma; seven grandchildren: Christopher Collins (Crystal), Alan Collins (Brandi), Whitney Downie (Gordon), Tyler Collins, Bethany Carlisle, Carole Stringer, and Heather Parfinski; ten great-grandchildren: Andrew Collins, Emma Downie, Carson Downie, Landon Collins, Lincoln Collins, Levi Carlisle , Samuel Carlisle, Jakob Carlisle, Kaybrynn Stringer and Spencer Stringer; three step children: Andrew Lanier, Audrey Andersen (Bill) and Amber Nagle (Gene); five step grandchildren: Alex Lanier, Andrea Lanier, Savannah Andersen, Jake Andersen, and Ansley Lanier; three step great-grandchildren: Lydda Lanier, Andrew Lanier and Lawson Lanier; a bunch of beloved nieces and nephews; and two very special buddies, Wayne Hall of Reidsville and Robert Cauley of Collins, both of whom he loved like family.

In lieu of sorrow, do what Johnny spent his lifetime doing — spend time with the people you love most in the world, help others in need, grow a vegetable garden and share its bounty with neighbors and friends, enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal, share a few stories, laugh often, and love deeply.

The family invites friends, family and members of the community to the visitation on Monday, May 30, 2022, at Ronald V. Hall Funeral Home in Vidalia at 10 a.m., with the funeral beginning at 11 a.m.  Burial will follow at Collins Chapel Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery.

The family asks donations be directed to Toombs County EMA   https://gema.georgia.gov/locations/toombs).

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

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Johnny

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Services

Visitation
Monday
May 30, 2022

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Ronald V. Hall Funeral Home
310 North Street West
PO Box 308
Vidalia, GA 30475

Funeral Service
Monday
May 30, 2022

11:00 AM
Ronald V. Hall Funeral Home
310 North Street West
PO Box 308
Vidalia, GA 30475

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