Norman Benjamin Collins, age 96, of New Braunfels, Texas and former longtime resident of Evadale, Texas, passed away Tuesday, April 27, 2021 in New Braunfels, Texas. He passed from this life peacefully, with his family beside him.
Norman was born May 21, 1924 in Votaw, Texas to the late Sidney Johnson Collins and
Sarah Sheppard Collins. The third of six children, his family moved from Votaw to Silsbee, where he attended school. At the age of 18, he joined the United States Army and subsequently joined the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II.
Norman served in the 3rd Army, 270th Field Artillery Battalion, Battery A. His Battery followed two 240 mm Howitzers throughout Europe. He fought in all five of the major battles of the European Theater. Norman was awarded five bronze stars, the American Theater Campaign Medal, the WWII Victory Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal.
Returning home from the war, Norman met his wife Mary and they married on June 21, 1951. They made their home in Evadale and reared their children there. Norman built roads and bridges, as well as planting trees for Champion Paper Company. He once estimated that he planted 7.5 million trees during his time with Champion. Later, he became a heavy equipment operator for the local union. In his spare time, Norman pursued many business opportunities in order to provide for his family. Norman and Mary were married for 67 years at the time of her death in 2018.
Norman and Mary were devoted members of The Evadale Church of Christ for many years. Later, they worshipped with the North Main Church of Christ in Vidor, the Dowlen Road Church of Christ in Beaumont and the Bulverde Church of Christ near New Braunfels. Norman never met a stranger and he made an impact on everyone he met. He loved to drink coffee and talk with folks, telling war stories and preaching the gospel. He was passionate in his faith, taking every opportunity to talk about God’s word. He lived his life with joy, happiness and a sense of humor.
Norman is preceded in death by his parents; his loving wife of 67 years, Mary Collins; brother, Herman Collins; and two sisters, Jewel Bruce and Vivian Hare Hyatt. He is survived by his children, Sarah Margaret Davis and husband Allen of Sour Lake, Norma Collins Cowart and husband John of New Braunfels, Thomas Sidney Collins of Grandview; grandchildren, Aimee Gallier and husband Jared, Jacob Cowart and wife Kelly, Jordan Cowart, Maggie Cowart, Ava Collins; great grandchildren, Davis Gallier, Collin Gallier, Olivia Cowart, Nash Collins Cowart; brother, Marvin Collins and wife Mary; sister, Helen Whitehead; and many other family members and friends.
Funeral Service will be held at 3PM Monday, May 3, 2021 at Farmer Funeral Home with burial to follow at Resthaven Cemetery. Visitation will be held two hours prior to the service from 1-3PM. Serving as pallbearers will be Jacob Cowart, Jordan Cowart, Jared Gallier, Davis Gallier, David Collins, and Jimmy Whitehead.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Texas Wounded Warriors, PO Box 130727, Tyler, TX 75713 (903) 918-2210 https://www.txwoundedwarrior.com
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