On September 23, 2019, with her loving husband at her side, Sandra Marie Collins, 79, received a first-class one-way ticket to heaven into the arms of her loving Savior. Mom passed away in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
Sandra Marie was born in Crawfordsville, IN on February 25, 1940. She was the middle daughter of three girls, born to Frank and Dorothy Weliver. One of Mom’s fondest memories was being her Grandpa’s “candy taster” at his general store; she had quite the sweet tooth. As a young girl, Mom looked forward to overnight stays with her Grandma Harris and summertime visits with her cousins. Many of her lifetime memories were centered around caring for others, family, faith, food and fellowship.
The love of Sandra’s life is a story of fate. She attended the National School of Aeronautics, in Kansas City, MO to become an airline employee. Her soon-to-be husband Ron, also attended this school. As fate would have it (and later they realized), they were both assigned the same dorm, same room and same bed during different training sessions. They officially met at Ozark Airlines on Michigan Avenue, downtown Chicago through mutual friends, which began their journey of their lifelong love. Ron worked as a reservations officer and Mom was an airline stewardess. They were united in marriage on October 7, 1961. Together they built a beautiful life. They spent time living in Abilene, TX as Ron served in United States Army during the Vietnam War. Together they were blessed with two children; Connie Sue and Ronald “Pete” Benjamin. They then resided in LaPorte, IN where they owned two travel agencies and had opportunities to explore the world together. In 1975, they moved to Russell, IA and purchased the family farm. Throughout the years, they owned multiple businesses. Mom especially loved her job as the secretary for the Russell School. She so loved her job and took a special interest in each and every student that would come to her for advice or a piece of candy.
Mom cherished her time with her three beautiful grandchildren: Devon, Tori, and Brody. She developed a very special bond and adored each of them. She loved to tell stories of her childhood to them. Mom also earned the title of “Camp Cook” from the Bader Mountain Annual Deer Hunting Club. Her legacy is the kindness she showed towards all, and her giving heart of gold. She will be greatly missed and remembered by all who knew her.
Survivors include her husband Ronald Benjamin Collins, Sr., her children; daughter Connie Sue Dunsmoor (Ross), son Dr. Ronald “Pete” Collins (Jen), grandchildren Devon Dunsmoor, Victoria Collins, and Brody Collins, sister Wanda Renfroe (Ken) and numerous nieces and nephews.
There will be a private family celebration of Sandra’s life, as she wished. To send cards, flowers, or memorials to the family of Sandra Marie Collins: 42587 280th Ave. Russell, IA 50238.
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