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Obituary - Thomas Jackson "Tom" Collins
Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home, Screven Chapel
Thomas Jackson "Tom" Collins

Thomas Jackson "Tom" Collins, 93, of Rocky Ford, Ga., passed peacefully in his sleep at home surrounded by family on January 25, 2024.

Tom was born on October 11, 1930, to Leslie Wallace Collins and Lois Cail Collins, the third of eight children.

Tom grew up on a farm outside of Rocky Ford and worked the land with his family until he joined the Army in 1948. He was stationed in Japan until 1950, when he received an honorable discharge and returned home.

On December 24, 1954, he married his childhood sweetheart, Mary Frances Krulic.

In January 1955, Tom joined the Air Force, and in the summer of 1955, Tom and Mary Frances moved to Widnes, Cheshire, England, outside the Royal Air Force Burtonwood Airbase, where Tom was stationed for three years.

On July 23, 1956, their son, Jeffrey Cail, was born at Burtonwood, making him a dual citizen of the United States and England.

The Collins family moved back to the United States in 1958 and returned home to Rocky Ford.

Their second child, Rebecca Elizabeth "Beth", was born April 16, 1962, and in 1965, Tom and Mary Frances built their forever home on land surrounded by his family. Shortly after, their third child, Mary Jennifer, joined the family on May 4, 1966.

Tom started working at Robbins Packing Company in Statesboro in 1959, where he worked his way up from being a delivery truck driver to being the manager of the sales department.

In 1992, Tom retired from his managerial role, but continued working for Robbins in a PR capacity, traveling around and promoting the company, until he fully retired in 2009, when the plant closed.

Tom was well-known and beloved by those who knew him at Robbins Packing Company.

Tom was a devout Christian and was a member of the Rocky Ford Baptist Church for 52 years, where he served as a deacon, Sunday school teacher, choir member and song leader. In 2011, he and Mary Frances transferred their membership to Douglas Branch Baptist Church, where they have been faithful members for the past 13 years.

Tom was always active and loved being outdoors. He raised and kept many hunting dogs over the years, and was an avid hunter and fisher. He loved working his land, tending fields and his personal vegetable garden, where he proudly grew food for his family to enjoy every year, even until he was 92 years old.

He especially loved sitting out in the backyard by the pool and watching his grandchildren, and later his great-grandchildren, swim and play.

Tom and Mary Frances always loved having animals and their home was a safe haven for many stray animals over the years.

Tom faithfully fed the many and varied species of local birds who visited and made a home in his backyard. He and Mary Frances loved to sit out on their back porch and watch and listen to the beautiful songbirds. Tom always especially loved cardinals because of how they were so devoted to their mates and spent their entire lives together, just like he and Mary Frances.

Tom is preceded in death by his parents, Leslie and Lois Collins; his siblings, Virginia Collins Pullias, Leonard Wallace Collins, Leslie Harrison Collins, Franklin Eugene Collins and Larry James Collins; as well as his son, Jeffrey Cail Collins.

He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Mary Frances Krulic Collins; his daughters, Beth (Billy) Smith, Jennifer (Michael) Long; his grandchildren, Natasha Kimberly (Steve) Davis, Erin Elizabeth Ward, Mary Gillon (Elliott) Hall, Benjamin Thomas Ward and Miriam Claire (Cody) DuBois; as well as his great-grandchildren, MariHaylee Louise Collins, Carter Reid DuBois, Aubrie Gray DuBois, Parker Collins DuBois and Mary Everly Hall. He is also survived by his siblings, Kenneth Emmanuel (Ann) Collins and Charles Windburn (Wanda) Collins; as well as numerous nieces, nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews.

Tom was beloved by all who knew him and he will be greatly missed.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you please donate to Thomas and Mary Frances’s favorite charity, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, at (

Visitation was held on Sunday, January 28, 2024, at the Joiner-Anderson Screven Chapel from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m.

A memorial service was held on Monday, January 29, 2024, at 2 p.m. in the chapel of Joiner-Anderson with the Rev. Russell Lyle and the Rev. Wayne Powell officiating.

You may sign the online register book at

Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home, Screven Chapel is in charge of all arrangements.

Statesboro Herald, January 30, 2024

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