It is with deep regret that the Congressional Medal of Honor Society notifies you of the death of Ray Collins. Ray passed away on Wednesday February 19, 2003. He suffered a heart attack on his way to his daughter Kay’s home in Colorado.
Ray worked for the VA and was a longtime friend of the CMoHS. He was instrumental in establishing the special Medal of Honor headstone program for the National Cemetery System.
He worked tirelessly to locate Medal of Honor recipient burial sites to identify them with the special MoH headstone. In 1995, the society honored Ray with its Distinguished Citizens Award. During his lifetime, he amassed an impressive collection of information on the Medal of Honor and its recipients and donated the collection to the CMoHS archives in 2000.
It was his wish that there be no funeral or memorial service. A private interment at Arlington Cemetery will take place later this year. Condolences may be sent to his daughter, Mrs. Marc Drzewiecki.
Ray Collins was not only a great personal friend to me, but to countless other people. When he retired from the United States Army, he realized that he had more to give to the men and women who serve in our nation's military forces. Accordingly, he began a second career with what was then the Veterans Administration.
Following his second retirement, Ray continued to devote himself to public service, amassing a huge collection of materials on Medal of Honor and its recipients. He generously shared this information with many others (including the webmaster of this website) and, as noted above, donated the contents of his collection to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society Archives. This legacy will surely continue to live on.
I can still remember the many walks that I took with Ray through Arlington National Cemetery, a place he dearly loved and the place where his wife of 58 years (Grace Augusta Hoffman Collins, rests awaiting Ray's arrival. Nearly every week, until just recently, my life was made brighter by a short telephone conversation or the arrival in the mail of some information about Arlington that he had found. I know that I will go back often and read again the notes of encouragement that he sent. He was a fine public servant, an historian, a writer, a teacher, a gentleman in every sense of the word, and he was my friend. I shall miss him!
COLLINS, RAYMOND LUTHER
- CAPTAIN, US ARMY
- VETERAN SERVICE DATES: 12/09/1943 – 08/31/1960
- DATE OF BIRTH: 04/22/1920
- DATE OF DEATH: 02/19/2003
- DATE OF INTERMENT: 10/27/2003
BURIED AT: SECTION 7 SITE 8193 LH
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard