George W. “Bill” Collins III, loving husband, father, and grandfather, 68 of Rochester, Passed away on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at his home.
Bill was born on July 23, 1949 in Lafayette, IN, the son of George W. II and Virginia A. Collins.
He graduated in 1968 from Northwestern Naval and Military Academy, Lake Geneva, WI. He then attended Parks College of Engineering, Aviation, and Technology in St. Louis, MO until joining the Air force in 1970. In 1978, He transferred from the Air force to the Air National Guard from which he retired in 1997 after 27 years of Service in aircraft maintenance. Upon retiring, he stated Bill’s Mustang Restoration. He took great pride in taking an eyesore and turning it into a thing of beauty. Many of the Mustangs he restored won fist place trophies and gold medals. A restoration hob was not complete until it met his high standards.
His parents and a great niece, Catherine McKay Pittman, preceded Bill in death.
He is survived by Frances, his wife of 44 years; a daughter, Amanda (Mike) Phelps of Springfield; four grandsons, Devon of Rochester, Caleb, Jonah, and Ethan of Springfield; a sister, Donna (Bill) Lehr of Alpharetta, GA; two nieces, Sherrin Pittman of Atlanta, GA and Cathy (Chad) Cox of Canton, GA; and two great nieces and a great nephew.
Bill enjoyed spending time with his family, camping, working in his shop and road racing. He will be remembered as a man who never met a stranger and a forever friend.
A celebration of life will be held on Wednesday, march 28, 2018 at Northender VFW, 2349 Stockyard Rd, Springfield, IL starting at 5:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, Bill asked that donations be made to the Wounded Warrior Project or St. Jude’s in Memphis, TN.
Wilson Park Funeral Home, 200 East Main St., Rochester, IL 62563 is in charge of arrangements