Wayne “Bo” Collins

Published 10:38 am Tuesday, February 18, 2020

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Wayne “Bo” Collins

February 12, 2020


Wayne “Bo” Collins was born on January 25, 1943 in Whigham, Georgia at the family home place, just as his brothers and sisters before him. He was the sixth of the nine children born to the late Malvin and Gertrude Jones Collins, Sr. On February 28, 1969, he married Helen Mason Collins, who preceded him in death on January 22, 2012. They were married just shy of 43 years and had a happy life together. Wayne passed away on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at Archbold Memorial Hospital in Thomasville, Georgia. Visitation and funeral services were held on Saturday, February 15th at Magnolia Baptist Church, where he was a member. Afterward, he was laid to rest at Greenwood Cemetery in Cairo, Georgia, following a brief family graveside.

Survivors include: sisters, Frankie Collins Quamme of Peachtree, Ga., Nancy Collins Clark of Cairo, Ga., Virginia Collins Ponder of Cairo, Suzy Collins Davis (Clifford) of Whigham, Ga.; brothers, Kenneth Collins (Karen) of Port St. Joe, Fla., Carlton Collins of Whigham; sisters-in-law, Maggie Butler Collins of Cairo, Linda Daniels Collins of Whigham; and a host of nieces and nephews, including a niece, Renee F. Banks of Pelham, Ga..

In the winter of 1943, Wayne was born with a rare growth disorder, known today as achondroplasia. In spite of this challenge, he was never treated any differently than his siblings; he was just another one of the family. Though short in stature, he was full of personality – and never short of friends. He was affectionately called “Bo” by those who loved him and knew him well.

Wayne was a pleasant and playful child. In high school, he became the mascot for the famous Indians basketball team at Whigham High School, loving every minute of celebrating their wins. In his adult life, welding became his talent and he operated his business, Lo-Bo Metal Works. He spent many hours in the fields with farmers making sure their equipment was repaired and in working order. He not only used his talent in fixing broken down farm equipment, but also with anything that might be improved by a welded spot here or there for anyone in need.

His many nieces and nephews feared their sweet uncle. They still laugh about his antics of chasing them around the farmhouse with the cattle prod, scaring them to pieces. And their Granny Collins running right behind Uncle Bo with the big razor strap to make him stop aggravating them. Oh, what a sight for his brothers and sisters! Bo was always cutting up and could give reason for your eyebrows to rise with some silly comment or remark!

Wayne and Helen always wanted a family, but never had any children. They loved all their nieces and nephews, including the children of Helen’s sister, Ruth. After Ruth’s death, they loved Renee and Ronna as their very own.

As is with life, there were challenges along the way. A most significant one occurred in 1998 when Bo was diagnosed with cancer of the stomach. Shortly thereafter, all of his siblings (with the exception of William Manuel, who had suffered an aneurysm and was in the hospital himself) traveled with Bo to Emory Hospital in Atlanta for an operation to remove his stomach. At that time he was given no hope for recovery. He was told to go home and get his house in order. To which he responded, “My house is in order.”   Around that time Bo joked, but made it clear to his brother-in-law, Lauren, was that when the time came that he wanted his casket lined with angle iron so that when the pallbearers carried the casket, they would know “he was a big man”.

During treatment, he spent many hours sitting in his beautiful woods, just enjoying seeing the deer, birds and other wildlife. A special treat was watching turkeys perch for the night in the tree where he sat.   One night, he marveled at counting 19 turkeys above him. He loved being outdoors and enjoying nature around him!

After cancer treatment, he continued living his life to the fullest for a miraculous 22 more years. Bo was never a complainer – even though his wife and family knew that he had many aches and pains over the years. Bo would not let it defeat him. He wanted no pity and needed no pity. He was satisfied with a simple life.   He loved God. His had love for his country, his community and for all people. He was just happy to be living and giving back to his many friends and associates.

Bo also had big plans to travel. Off he would go, but as soon as he arrived at his destination, he was ready to return to his beautiful hometown of Whigham, Georgia. And it was even rumored by some of the Collins cousins that he and his friend, Dennis, had started a “detective agency” there. The address of this agency was located on the south side of West Broad Street at a wooden bench where they sat watching the “goings-on” around them. Bo also had many special friends watching out for him – and spent many happy hours at Hud’s.

A couple weeks ago, Bo made a stop at Clark Funeral Home, to again remind Lauren’s son-in-law, Jason, who now runs the place, about his wishes he had made known to Lauren for that angle iron lining. It was just his way to pick and tease; the timing, in retrospect, was quite surreal. His quick wit and teasing will be missed and despite it, his brothers and sisters as well as his many nieces and nephews always knew that Bo was a real man with the biggest of hearts!

Memorials may be made in Bo’s memory to: Magnolia Baptist Church or Magnolia Cemetery Fund, P. O. Box 377, Whigham, GA 39897.

Guests may sign the online register at www.clarkfuneral.com.