Mildred Collins

Mildred Jacqueline Fogo Collins, our mother, died Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, after more than a decade long battle with Alzheimer's which she fought with dignity, charm and grace. She is now in the arms of Jesus whom she loved with all her heart. She was born Aug. 28, 1928, the first-born child of the late Byron Mills Fogo Sr. and Grace Boyd O'Rear Fogo. Family and friends affectionately called her Millie Jack, MJ or Millie but our father would only call her Mildred. She was a graduate of Chattanooga High School and attended the University of Chattanooga where she joined Phi Mu sorority. She was studying biology to become a nurse. However, our father jokingly said she was actually a "bridge major" and "biology minor". A testament to his humor was that she did not become a nurse but she did remain in her college bridge club for the next 60 years. On June 20, 1948 she married her college sweetheart, Eugene "Gene" Newton Collins, in Patten Chapel on the UC campus. They moved to Nashville that year so Gene could attend Vanderbilt Law School and returned to Chattanooga in 1951 where he joined her father's law practice. They remained married for 56 years until Dads death in 2004. Her interests were varied and wide. Her great passions were: family, bridge, needlepoint, reading, playing the piano, singing in the choir and Jesus Christ. Dad would have added to that list Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy because she watched these shows religiously and refused to take calls during that time. She played in several bridge clubs, was in two book clubs and was a member of her church choir until a surgery prevented her from further singing. She quietly preached and loudly lived the Golden Rule... which she strived to instill in her children. Alzheimers, a disease that also took the life of her mother in 1995, robbed her of memory but it could not take her spirit. When first told of her disease in her charming manner she laughingly exclaimed: " well I wondered what was wrong with me!" She never gave up. As a young girl she attended First Presbyterian Church but when she was a teenager, because of her beautiful soprano voice, she was recruited to sing in her neighborhood church, Northside Presbyterian. Though she attended First Presbyterian during the tenure of Ben Haden she remained a lifelong member of Northside. She was a community volunteer for most of her life and served on numerous committees and boards...anything that would further the interest of Chattanooga. She loved the law and loved numbers so she was most proud of working for many years for her husbands law firm and of being a bookkeeper for her sons medical practice. Helping her family brought her the most joy. And, she returned that joy a thousand fold. In addition to her parents and her husband, she was predeceased by her husbands parents whom she loved as her own, Lois and Raymond Collins; a daughter-in-law, Claire Markham Collins; a brother, Byron Mills (Irene) Fogo Sr.; and a sister, Nancy Caroline (Mrs. Wilford Caulkins III). She is survived by her five children, Dr. David Newton (Gwynn) Collins, Lookout Mountain and their three children, Laura (Jon Hennen), Andrew and Mary Elizabeth; Debra (Mrs. Arthur Reeves Fairey III) Bradenton, Fla. and their two children, Ashley (Jonathan Cullum) and David (Christina); Cathy (Mrs. Lewis Elser) Hixson and their two children, Kevin and Gabby; Kevin Eugene (Leigh) Collins, Birmingham, Ala., and his children, Caroline, Charlotte, Kaki and Clay; and Nancy (Mrs. Joseph Edward "Ward" Petty), Lookout Mountain and their two children, Tyler and Mimi. Also surviving are five great-grandchildren and two more due in early 2014. Her brother, Dr. Larry Ewing (Susan) Fogo Sr.; and several nieces, nephews and cousins also survive. She was also blessed to have had the loyal friendship of Effie Tuggle and Juanita Jackson. In the last decade of her illness she resided at The Terrace at Mountain Creek in assisted living where she was attended to by a devoted and loving staff. She was also blessed to have had private sitters to whom the family is eternally grateful for the love and compassion they showed her to the very end, Pat Quarles, Wilma Smith and Wendy Davis. The family is also grateful to Hospice of Chattanooga for their tender care this last year. The family will receive visitors at Wann Funeral home from 11 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Nov. 9, followed by a private family graveside service at Forest Hills Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family suggest donations be made to Alzheimer's of Chattanooga or a favorite charity. Share your memories at www.wannfuneralhome.com Arrangements are by Wann Funeral Home and Cremation Cen

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