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William R. "Bill" Collins

July 14, 1951 ~ June 1, 2022 (age 70)


     William R. "Bill" Collins, 70, of Williamsport, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, June 1, 2022, with his wife and life partner of 30 years, Nedeen L. "Deenie" (Rader) Collins, by his side.

     Bill was born in Sayre on July 14, 1951, along with his twin sister, Peggy, to the late Percy and Lorraine (Stickles) Collins. Peggy predeceased him on Oct. 11, 2013.

     Bill graduated from Athens Area High School in 1969, and then headed for Williamsport where he made his home for the last 53 years. Initially interested in body and fender work, Bill found himself an unintentional car salesman. He realized it was a good fit and enjoyed a successful career that spanned almost 40 years. He worked at various dealerships in the area, most notably Kinley’s Subaru, Fairfield Chevrolet and Van Campen Motors. In each showroom he gained and shared a wealth of product knowledge, while getting to know his customers. After retiring from car sales, he found his niche in the Installed Sales Office at Lowes, where he worked for 11 years. And in Bourbon Street’s heyday, he enjoyed his bartending duties, while also selling cars.

     Bill was "an auction guy" and could sit for hours to buy collectibles for the downstairs family room which was his favorite place to be, and frequently refinished antique furniture to give as keepsakes to family members. Bill was the cook and grocery shopper of the household and always cooked for a crowd so he could "share the bounty" with special people in his life.

     He loved being Poppy to his grandkids and was so proud of their accomplishments. He liked attending basketball and baseball games, school plays and even a dance recital or two. He shared his love of fishing with them and when he was able, took local fishing adventures with them, and loved hearing their hunting success stories. We will all treasure memories like campfires, backyard campouts, spaghetti steaks, and his "Poppy Blankets", and hope someday they'll share them with their own grandkids.

     Bill and Nedeen would have celebrated the 14th anniversary of their surprise backyard wedding on June 22, 2022. Surviving are his children, Brian Shafer (Pam) of Harrisburg and Joclyn Beagle (Jeff), of Williamsport; his grandchildren, Collin (Brooklyn Graham) and Reilly Shafer both of Harrisburg and Aurora (Nathan Reedy), Jayda, J.J., Emerson Beagle, and "bonus grandson", Christian Mumford, all of Williamsport. He is also survived by his best friend, Jim Solomon; sister, Linda Welch (Chuck) of Dade City, FL.; and their children Lori Murtha (Mark) and Paul Welch (Molly); his mother-in-law, Janice Rader; sister-in-law, Robin Edkin (Tracy); brother-in-law, Todd Rader (Laura); several nieces and nephews; and a couple of their kiddos too.

     In accordance with his wishes, there will be no funeral service. A casual celebration of Bill’s life will be held later this summer for family and friends. If you feel so inclined, please make a donation to your favorite charity in his memory.

     Words are not sufficient to express the gratitude to everyone, especially our family, who made themselves available the last several weeks so Bill could stay at home. Your texts, emails, cards, calls, food deliveries, your friendship and constantly holding us up in prayer made a huge difference in his final journey.

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