James Otis Collins, 97, of Collins, Georgia went home to be with his Lord, June 7, 2018 surrounded by devoted family members. He was born in 1920 to John Hilton and Eppie Joanna Boyett Collins. At age three, after his mother’s death, he was lovingly raised by his aunt and uncle, Roxie and Stiles Sikes. With his father marrying again, he was one of 19 children. Otis was a 1939 Collins High School graduate. He also attended Berry College in Rome, GA. He and his late wife of 70 years, Zelna Callaway Collins, lived in Savannah for over 50 years before moving to the Pine Grove Community near Collins in 2005.
Mr. Collins was a World War II veteran of the US Navy serving in the Philippine Liberation. In his early working career, Otis was a dredge captain helping to build the Jekyll Island Causeway. He worked on many other projects up and down the east coast, later retiring from Carlton Company as shop foreman in Savannah. He was a member of the Pine Grove Baptist Church, where he was fondly known as “Uncle Otis” to everyone. He was an avid fisherman, birdwatcher and gardener.
He was preceded in death by his devoted wife; his parents; Aunt Roxie and Uncle Stiles Sikes; his step-mother, Louella Collins and many brothers and sisters.
Although he had no children of his own, Otis is survived by many nephews and nieces, including Linda Sikes, and her family, who gave him daily care for the past several years; also his Collins half-sisters and half-brother, Jean, Elva, Lamana, Lynn, June, Judy, Larry and Dianne.
Funeral services will be conducted Saturday, June 9, 2018, at 2:00 pm at Kennedy Funeral Homes, Cobbtown Chapel, with the Rev. Jim Rogers officiating. Burial will be in the Old Anderson Church Cemetery. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Nephews will serve as pallbearers.
Kennedy Funeral Homes, Cobbtown Chapel, is in charge of arrangements.