William A. Collins

  • Born: September 22, 1941
  • Died: January 30, 2015
  • Location: Milledgeville, Illinois

McDonald Funeral Home

520 Holcomb Avenue
Milledgeville, IL 61051

Tel. (815) 225-7154

Tribute & Message From The Family

William Albert Collins, age 73 of Milledgeville, died Friday, January 30, 2015 at home after a brief battle with cancer.

Bill was born on September 22, 1941 in New York Mills, Minnesota; the son of Albert William and Ada Ethel (Niemela) Collins. He graduated from New York Mills High School in 1959.

Bill was a structural steel Ironworker for over 50 years and was a member of Local 498, Rockford IL. He was involved in various construction projects across the country, ranging from bridges and dams to buildings and homemade projects. He was an avid hunter and fisherman throughout his life and was active in wildlife preservation and game management. After his retirement, Bill received his Master Gardener Certificate through the University of Illinois. He had a passion for home gardening, growing both seasonal crops and flowers for the enjoyment of his family and friends. He enjoyed pickling vegetables, smoking locally caught catfish, and sharing his famous canned venison with anyone willing to try it.

Survivors include Crystal, his wife of 40 years; daughter, Billie Jo (Douglas) Rach of Breezy Point, Minnesota; son, Anthony Steven of Anoka, Minnesota; daughter, Tina (Alan) Fess of Macedon, New York; son, Robert Coleman of Haymarket, Virginia; one sister, Ruth Ann (Gary) Wilkinson of Park Rapids, Minnesota; two brothers, Ronald Collins of Mililani, Hawaii and John (Donna) Collins of Pine River, Minnesota; ten grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents.

A gathering of family and friends will take place on Wednesday, February 4, 2015 from 10:00-11:00 A.M. at the McDonald Funeral Home in Milledgeville (520 Holcomb). A celebration of Bill's life will follow at 11:00 A.M. at the funeral home with Reverend Rick Koch officiating.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Bill's honor to the Milledgeville Fire Dept or other organization of choice.


Condolence & Memory Journal

I remember Billy so well, we graduated from NYM together in 1959. I never thought about it but he was a gentle giant then too. Such a genuinely nice guy. I know his family will miss him. Your memories will be of great help in recovering from this loss.

Posted by Donna (Meader) Sandstrom - Shakopee, MN - Friend   February 13, 2015

We Just want you to know how much we thought of Bill. He was such a good neighbor. Remember the time he came over and Helped Monty cut down two pine trees & dig out the deep deep roots. What a Job that was. He stayed right there until the job was done.

He brought us many nice catfish he caught in the rock river. Very good.

We will really miss him as well as many others in Milledgeville.

Posted by Monty & Kay Chronister - Milledgeville,, IL - Friends and Neighbors   February 04, 2015

What a gentle Giant of a friend, a true man amongst men, so caring, and giving to others. We all treasure the knowledge he has given to all of us..
Loved the stories he shared and coffe time with the guys will never be the same. His love for Chrystal was priceless...
He will be missed dearly by all of us.

Posted by Roger and Kym Hayen - Milledgeville, IL - Frinds   February 03, 2015

Bill was one of those Men that God gifted with great knowledge of so many things! I appreciated Bill more than words can say! Bill was generous with his abundant garden...he shared his love of food, family and the outdoors one day, while he showed me how to expertly pick cucumbers...on our hands and knees!

I respected Bill very much and I am very glad I had the opportunity to know him, and could call him my friend! I know he will be missed and I am grateful he was able to spend his last breaths in his home, with his family and Chris by his side. He is perfect in God's arms and at peace once again!

With Love,

Posted by Liz Hutchison - Milledgeville, IL - Friend!   February 02, 2015


Crystal, I am so sorry. Wish I could be there to give you a hug. Prayers to you.

Posted by Gloria Weeks - Rio Hondo, TX - friend   February 01, 2015

Bill was my friend and we met in the Illinois Master Gardener Program. We had a garden together for a few years in Mt. Carroll,IL. We shared the produce with needy people as well as Good Samaritan Care Center's Dining hall. Bill came by to visit often and brought catfish fillets and vegetables from his garden. Bill was real down to earth and I appreciated his giving heart. Bill could tell stories of his hunting trips to Minnesota. Bill was my friend and I will miss him.
May God give comfort to Crystal and his family. John 14:1&2" You believe in God, believe in Me(Jesus), In my Father's house are many mansions. I go there to prepare a place for you and If I go and prepare a place for you, i will come again and receive you unto Myself."

Posted by Rev. bob Ziebarth - Bitely, MI - Friend   February 01, 2015