Mrs. Mary Retha “Rita” Locklear Collins was the 9th child of 14 children, born on December 16, 1942 in Hoke County, NC to the late Beulah & Martine Locklear. She couldn’t wait to leave the farm and fields of rural North Carolina for the city of Cleveland, OH. She later moved to sunny Florida and attended Business College and Cosmetology School. Mrs. Collins along with Stan Collins and James Waters have a total of 13 children, 59 Grandchildren and 32 Great Grandchildren. With her charismatic charm and never met a stranger personality she accomplished many great things in her life. Mrs. Collins was a business entrepreneur for 30 plus years beginning in 1969 with Rita’s Wig Gallery and many adventures throughout the years ending with Aardvark Video. Mrs. Rita was a long standing member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She taught her children to love, to serve one another, the value of hard work and the importance of eternal families. Mrs. Collins was loved by many, was an incredible friend, wife and mother. She mentored many youth throughout her life, including the fine art of house-keeping to anyone who walked thru her door. Mrs. Rita had the amazing ability to fall asleep anywhere and never miss a conversation, her 15 minute power naps were her super strength. She had many hobbies in her life such as: temple work, genealogy, canning, baking, road trips, fishing, garage sales, playing cards, bowling, music, being with her family, especially her sisters and was an avid collector of fine antiquities. She lived a life full of love and laughter and the occasional adventure. She will be dearly missed by all. She was preceded in death by one son, Stanley Charles Collins; five brothers, Howard, Wilford, Martine, Welton and Tony Locklear; and three sisters, Hazel Pierce, Margaree Lowery and Savannah Junker.
Survivors include her husband, Stanley B. Collins, Hawthorne; sons, James “Joc” Waters (Olivia), Lake City, Kevin Martin Waters, Jacksonville, Ryan Keith Waters (Janna), St. George, UT, Phillip Scott Waters (Jennifer), St. George, UT, Jean-David Waters (Kali), Vineyard, UT, Jay Russell Collins (Barbara), St. Augustine, Stephen Boyd Collins (Jennifer), St. Augustine, Michael Collins (Mindy), Edgewater, FL; daughters, Kelly Simone Ongoongotau (Heivaha), Pleasant Grove, UT, Pamela Smith (Ralph), St. Augustine, Rebecca Ellen Hedelius (Nathan), Providence, UT and Jewelee Steed (Garth), Kingman, AZ; five sisters, Catherine Amaral (Vicky), Evelyn Stewart (Richard), Helen Silvia, Jeanette Broughton (Larry) and Vashti Tyler (Butler); , 59 Grandchildren and 32 Great Grandchildren.
Funeral services for Mrs. Collins will be conducted on Thursday, February 11, 2021, at 12:00 Noon at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on Old Country Club Road in Lake City, Florida. Visitation with the family will be prior to the service on Thursday from 10:00 AM to 12:00 Noon. Interment will follow at Preston Cemetery in Maxton, North Carolina on Saturday, February 13, 2021 at 11:00 AM.
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