Larry went home to meet his Lord on Monday, February 13, 2017 at age 61 years. He was a previous resident of Tucson, having worked for Union Pacific Railroad until his retirement in February 2012.
Larry was born on September 18, 1955 in Mesa, Arizona to Carnlee and Betty Collins. Carnlee had moved his family from Kentucky to Arizona to work for Southern Pacific Railroad. Larry graduated from Benson Union High School and moved to Safford, Arizona to start working for the railroad. He was a fifth generation railroader. Larry’s career took him from track laborer, machine operator, foreman and finally to Manager of Track Maintenance for Union Pacific Railroad after they bought out Southern Pacific. Larry also worked as a Volunteer Fire Chief for Bowie, Arizona Fire Department and as a Paramedic for 16 years. Larry was a big NASCAR fan and tried his hand at auto racing. He was part of DC Motorsports and raced in Tucson, Albuquerque and Colorado.
After his retirement from the railroad, Larry and Debra moved from Tucson to Pennsylvania in 2013, but they spent their winter months back in Tucson. He enjoyed spending time with his family and, especially, with his grandchildren. He was an avid hunter, using rifle and bow, and loved fishing and living a rural life in Pennsylvania
He is survived by his wife, Debra Lyn Collins of Pennsylvania; his son Joshua and Alexandra Collins, grandsons Christopher Raymond and Jesse Lee of Tucson; his daughter Shannon and Ben Sakers, grandchildren Ryland Lee, Raegan Lyn and Evan Alexander of Pennsylvania; his sister Brenda and Steven Smith, nephews Gavin and Ryan, great-nephew Ronan of Redding, California; nephews Sean and Connie Collins, their children Dakotah and Brandon of Glendale, Arizona and Jesse and Desiree Collins and their son, Tyler of Escondido, California; his mother-in-law, Mary Ann Weaverling of Tucson and numerous cousins. Larry was preceded in death by his parents, Carnlee and Betty Collins and his older brother and sister-in-law, Lee and Barbara Collins.
Larry had recently fought a battle with laryngeal cancer and had won, being given the status of “Cancer Free” in December 2016, the best Christmas gift possible. However, upon his return to Tucson, he suffered complications of an intestinal blockage and passed away within 32 hours of diagnosis. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, if you would like to make a donation to the American Cancer Society in Larry’s memory, it would be welcomed. A recognition card from the American Cancer Society can be mailed to Debra Collins at 636 Ritz Road, Mansfield, PA 16933.
A celebration of Larry’s life will be held on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at Fort Lowell Park, at Ramada #3, on Craycroft Road in Tucson from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm and all who knew him are invited to come and spend some time visiting and sharing stories of Larry with his family. This will be a very informal gathering.