Annie Laura ‘Collins’ Porter, age 81, of Fort White, Florida, passed away on Friday, October 1, 2021, at the University of Florida Shands hospital in Gainesville, Florida following an extended illness. Annie Laura was born in Fort White, Florida on November 11, 1939, to the late George Edward Collins and Winnie Moreland Collins.
Annie Laura grew up in Fort White, graduating from Fort White High School in 1957. She attended the Orange Memorial School of Nursing in Orlando, Florida from 1958 - 1960. Her training began in Orlando, Florida but continued at Charity Hospital School of Nursing in New Orleans, Louisiana. She graduated with her degree in nursing 1960.
Annie Laura began her nursing career in 1960 at Alachua General Hospital in Gainesville, Florida. She moved to the University of Florida Student Medical Infirmary while her husband was a student at UF. She was a nurse supervisor at a nursing home while living in Quincy, Florida from 1976 – 1978.
Annie Laura was preceded in death by her parents, George and Winnie Collins and her brother Edward Collins. She was married for 61 years and is survived by her husband Norman, her son Eathan, her daughter Becky, grandchildren Nathan and Sarah, her son George (Laura), grandchildren Hailey, Henry and Harper, brother Steve Collins (Pauline), sisters-in-law Mary Ann Collins and Gwen Hawkins, and brother-in-law Bobby Porter. Many nieces, nephews and cousins also survive in addition to many friends, from her childhood, school and church.
Annie Laura was the seventh generation that lived on the President Buchanan land grant area. Her ancestors moved into Florida in 1823. This area was named Collins Community near the Mill Pond area along the east side of the Ichetucknee River. She moved away to attend nursing school and begin her family in 1960. She returned to the family farm in 1978 to care for her parents George and Winnie Collins. In 1989, Annie Laura helped organize a reunion for the Fort White School alumni for fund raising and lobbying to renovate the historically important facilities. The old high school was made safe for use with an elevator for the handicapped. In 1991, the buildings were designated as “The Fort White Public School Historical District”, as listed in the National Registry of Historic Places in 1991. The continuing lobbying efforts from the 1989 reunion resulted in the new high school in Fort White today.
Annie Laura was also a member of a 1991 citizens group concerned about a proposed intensive animal confinement operation in the Fort White area that could degrade the Floridian aquifer. The lobbying effort of the team was successful in the permit not being approved. Annie Laura loved nature and always had feeders full for the birds. She enjoyed propagating native wildflowers throughout her yard and adding on to her large butterfly garden.
Annie Laura was a 42 year member of Elim Baptist Church in Fort White, Florida, who served her church for over 40 years. She was actively involved in her church, serving as Clerk, Sunday School & Disciple Training Secretary, Bible Teacher, Bus Ministry Team Member and other positions for her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She went to her eternal home on the evening of October 1, 2021.
A private service for the immediate family will be conducted Monday morning October 11, 2021 at 10:00 AM at Elim Baptist Church with Pastor Larry Sweat officiating. A local FM broadcast of the service will be available in the church parking lot only by tuning your FM radio to 88.7. A graveside funeral service and visitation will immediately follow for family and friends in the church cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Elim Baptist Church Cemetery Fund at P O Box 448, Fort White, FL 32028 or Gideon’s International, in Annie Laura Porter’s memory.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Annie Laura Collins Porter, please visit our floral store.