Obituary of Robert E. Collins
Robert E. "Bob" Collins, 83, lifelong resident of Cayuta, NY, passed away on Friday, September 7, 2018 at home surrounded by his family. He was born on April 1, 1935, the son of the late Earl and Beatrice (Doane) Collins. He married to Charlotte Dean on May 19, 1956 at Cayuta Free Church.
He bought his farm in 1962 where he resided until his death. He started working for Cotton-Hanlon at the age of 14 in 1949 eventually becoming head sawyer and worked there until 1974. While still employed at Cotton-Hanlon he established Robert E. Collins Sawmill in 1971 which he was actively involved with until his death. He was a member of the Cayuta Fire Brigade in his younger years. A member of the Cayuta town board for 20 years, serving as a town councilman from 1969-1978 and town supervisor from 1978-1989. Served as a Schuyler County legislator from 1992-1994. Also a trustee for the Cayuta Free Church. He built his own stock car and began racing at the age of 15. An avid softball player and managed an adult league he and his friends established in the late 1950's and early 1960's. He enjoyed many years of square dancing with his wife Charlotte, hosting many yearly "barn dances". He also enjoyed many years of snowmobiling, showing Clydesdale horses with the Hall family, camping with the 39ers camping club, spending each spring at the sugar shack with his lifelong, childhood friend, Jerry Crainey, and was a member of the NY State Ford Tractor Association. His love of restoring and collecting antique tractors started in 1981, in this endeavor he owned more than 40 beautifully restored tractors. Shortly after that he became a member of the Chemung Valley Old Timers for many years, eventually becoming president of the club. He shared his love of tractors with his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, spending many summers at tractor shows and in later years his greatest joy was having his tractors in community parades driven by his daughter, grandchildren, and this past summer taught his great granddaughter how to drive so she could drive in the parade with him. Spending time with his family, especially his great grandkids Kelsea, Megan, James Robert, Kali and LeeAnn, was one of his greatest joys.
Bob is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Charlotte D. Collins; daughter, Debra (William) Barrett of Cayuta; son, Timothy (Janice) Collins of Cayuta; two sisters, Darlene (Charles) Simpson and Bonnie (Louis) Eberhardt all of Cayuta; six grandchildren, Kami (Chad) Wardwell of Cayuta, Kyle (Lauren) VanGalder of Alpine, Bridgett Barrett of Cayuta, Jessi (Chris) Dudgeon of Cayuta, Derek (Star) Collins of Constantia, and Douglas (Angela) Collins of Cayuta; 13 great grandchildren; several nieces and nephews, especially his nephew, right hand man and head sawyer, Joe Eberhardt.
Relatives and friends are invited to call on Saturday, September 15, 2018 from 1-3 pm at Bob's favorite spot, his "Blue Building", 1100 Conkrite Rd., Cayuta, surrounded by his family, friends, tractors and other prized collectibles. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Cayuta Free Church, 1100 Conkrite Rd., Cayuta, NY 14824. Arrangements are being handled by Vedder and Scott Funeral Home, Montour Falls.