Dr Warren "Rip" James Collins passed away January 3rd at The Pines long term care unit in Shelby NC. He was born on February 11th, 1924 in Alberta, Canada. He resided in Camas, Washington until he graduated from Camas High School in 1942.
He was very active in all sports from 8th grade through 12th grade. He lettered each year in three sports (football, baseball, and basketball). He played the saxophone in the high school dance band and later just for fun. As a young boy he was a Boy Ranger, Boy Scout, and a Sea Scout; Also, a very avid snow skier. He graduated from Duke University with a Bachelor of Science degree and Doctor of Medicine in 1948. He had his internship at Brooke Army Medical Center in 1948 and did his residency in General Surgery at Madigan Army Medical Center. He did his Obstetrics and Gynecology residency from 1951 through 1954. He was chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Fort Ord Army Hospital from 1954 to 1957; as well as chief of staff at Cleveland Memorial Hospital where he was active in the building of the new hospital and various new programs in the health department.
He served in the United States Army. He was a Battalion Surgeon in the 3rd Battalion, 7th Regiment in the Korean War from 1950-1951. His father before him served in both World Wars. Dr. Collins was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, 9 Battle Stars, Combat Medical Badge, and 2 Presidential Unit Citations. He was discharged as a Lieutenant Colonel, Medical Corp. in 1957.
Dr. Collins had a private practice in Ob-Gyn in Shelby N.C. from 1957 until 1993. He was then part of the medical staff at Cleveland County Health Dept. from 1957 - 2011. He always had a heart for the less fortunate in life and was at his happiest when helping people. He felt the Korean War was where he learned much in the way of medicine. The war shaped his life in more ways than anyone ever knew. He was in his later years before he would even discuss the war. His children and grandchildren value all he has told them.
Golf was his passion most of his life. Many happy memories and friends were made on the golf course. He was such a Southern Gentleman and the old values never left him.
Dr. Collins was a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a Fellow of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, a member of the South-Central Obstetrics and Gynecology Society. He was a guest lecturer for staff at Cleveland Regional Medical Center, Gardner Webb University School of Nursing, Cleveland County Health Dept and Health Classes at area High Schools. He was a Rotarian, served on the Board of the American Red Cross and the American Cancer Society. He was a member of Shelby Presbyterian Church and a former Sunday School teacher at Central United Methodist Church in the Jr. and Sr. High classes.
Dr. Collins was preceded in death by his wives, Gene G. Collins, Lillian B. Collins, and two sons Gary T. Collins and Ronald B. Collins, as well as his parents, Frank B. Collins and Agnes S. Collins. He is survived by son, James Patrick Collins of Hilton Head, S.C., daughter Candace C. McCall and husband Tom of Burlington N.C., two daughters-in-law, Ruthi Collins of Hilton Head, S.C. and Jamie Collins of Wilmington, N.C. Dr. Collins treasured his five grand-daughters, Mandy Ingalls, Rebecca Chamblee, Collins Mabry, Cathryn Adair, and Sarah Everhart and five great grandchildren: Haley Mabry, Hudson Chamblee, Hannah Scott Chamblee, Emmy Ingalls and Sarah Ingalls. He is also survived by step children Thomas Monroe and wife Emily their children, Angus and Mallory, David Monroe and son Baylen, and Robin Monroe and sons Jack and Ellis, sister-in-law and brother-in-law Dr. Bernard and Pat Harris and many cousins, nieces and nephews in the Mid-West.
A special thank you to The Brookdale Senior Living Staff for making our Dad's life so pleasant, comfortable, and fun he began to call it home. To Barbara McLarty, we almost made it to 50 birthday pound cakes. Thank you to the Pines for the care and love he received always. And, we cannot thank Hospice of Cleveland County enough either. They were there to the end.
Services will be held in the chapel of Cecil Burton Funeral Home and Crematory on January 12, 2019 at 1:00 pm with Dr. Luke Harkey officiating. Reception immediately following service.
Dr Collins will be interned at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors and a private ceremony on a later date.
Our dad loved life so much so please celebrate his life with color, no black preferred. In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged and can be sent to Hospice at 951 Wendover Heights Drive, Shelby NC 28150.
Cecil M. Burton Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the family of Dr. Collins.
Guest Registry is available at www.cecilmburtonfuneralhome.com.