Obituary for William Arthur Collins of Pinehurst

William Arthur Collins (affectionately known as Bill/Billy/Dad/Papa/Grandpa/Big Dog) of Pinehurst, North Carolina, passed away on Thanksgiving, Nov. 24th. He spent the last weeks of his life surrounded by family including his brother, children and grandchildren. 

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face;

the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,

may God hold you in the palm of His Hand. – Irish blessing 

Bill was born in Malden, Massachusetts on January 20, 1938 to James and Louise Collins. The middle of three children, he grew up in a tight-knit Irish Catholic community in Summerville. After receiving an undergraduate degree from University of Massachusetts, he left his familiar roots and joined the US Naval Officer Candidate School, serving four years active duty and 19 years in the Naval Reserves, retiring as a Commander. He received his Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Washington and was on the Department of Accounting faculty at the University of Florida, University of Oklahoma, UNC Chapel Hill and UNC Greensboro prior to retiring to Pinehurst in 2003. He loved being part of the Pinewild community, whether it was sharing a good bottle of wine, discussing his golf swing, picking up his neighbors’ pine cones, getting Tea to trim his “hair”, debating the Florida Gators season, telling you the latest about his children or grandchildren, or sitting at his favorite table at Elliot’s eating salmon. 

Bill loved his family dearly. He is survived by his four children and spouses – Kimberley (Steve) Gregg, Sarah (Jeff) Portugal, Will (Yu Xie) Collins and Caitlin (Amanda) Collins; his eleven grandchildren – Andrew, Calvin, Jack, Rosie, Nathan, Aden, James, Chris, Alden, Avery, and Brian; his siblings – James (Edie) Collins and Mary Lou Sawall, and  their children and grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his father, James Collins, mother, Louise Collins, and grandson, Samuel. 

Bill asked not to hold a service. He wanted to think of his family and friends sitting around a table with a good bottle of wine and sharing memories. He was truly thankful and overwhelmed with the amount of love he experienced in his life. 

The family requests donations be made to Habitat for Humanity, an organization with which he was active and felt strongly. 

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