Friday, February 5, 2010
Committed to serving his community
Ferdinand “Ferd” Mario Anair Collins, 74, formerly of Heald Road, succumbed to Lou Gehrig’s disease at his home in St. Augustine, Florida, on January 24. Born in Waterbury, Vermont, on December 8, 1935, he was the younger son of the late William E. and Lula (Anair) Collins of Waterbury. Ferd graduated from Waterbury High School in 1954 where he distinguished himself as Class President each year and as a leading contributor to champion basketball, baseball and ski teams.
Ferd graduated from Norwich University in 1958 with a B.S. degree in business administration, a U.S. Army officer commission and a Sigma Phi Epsilon Alumni membership. His first career was as an officer serving in the 14th Armored Cavalry, Bad Hersfeld, Germany, followed by a second tour in Germany in the 82nd Airborne Division Tank Battalion where he was promoted to Tank Company Commander during the Berlin Wall tensions and Cold War. His last three-year assignment was at Middlebury College as an Assistant Professor teaching Military Science.
On December 18, 1965, Ferd married the former Rebecca “Faye” Groton of Laurel, Delaware, at St. Andrews Church, Waterbury. In Middlebury, Vermont, the couple began their lifelong commitment to giving back to the community. Ferd was a Boy Scout leader, Little League baseball and soccer coach, and a favorite Middlebury College fraternity chaperon and judge at downhill ski team meets.
In 1968 Ferd began his civilian career at Deck House in Acton, rising to New England Regional Sales Manager. During his 17 years at Deck House, he ranked first or second in sales volume each year. The couple settled in Carlisle, where they resided for 32 years. There, Ferd continued his commitment to serving the community. For years he was honored to be the Memorial Day parade marshal and to call out, with reverence, the name of each fallen Carlisle veteran. He served on the Town Building Committee during a time of rapid growth and expansion. He coached the Bulls basketball team under the auspices of the Recreation Committee. As a member of the Acton Junior Chamber of Commerce, he created a local junior ski team, guided them to No. 1 in New England, and coached them in the Nationals in Colorado. One of his team went to the Olympics on the U.S. Ski Team. He was an active member of the Emerson Hospital Auxiliary Fundraising Committee.
In 1984 his career move was to Pella Windows and Doors of New England as Executive Vice President and General Manager. He brought the company to a 50% increase in growth and became President and Chief Operating Officer before retiring.
Ferd served for 15 years on the Board of Fellows of Norwich University, with committee assignments including Recruitment, Admissions and Building Committees. In 2003 Ferd and Faye became 1819 Circle members of the Partridge Society of Norwich University.
Ferd, an avid downhill skier, loved skiing in Vermont, Colorado and Europe. The couple enjoyed entertaining at their summer home on the beach in Gloucester. He enjoyed the study of wines, visiting vineyards during his military years in Germany, and later traveling with Faye to vineyards around the world. He created a large wine cellar in his home and became a regional director of the international club “Les Amis du Vin.” He wrote a column called “Lines for Wine” that appeared regularly in The Village News and contributed articles to other news publications.
In 1999 Ferd and Faye retired to St. Augustine where he was able to focus on his golf game. He was a volunteer at the Tournament of Players, Sawgrass, serving on the commissary committee for the golf pros. He was also a volunteer marshal at the Legends of Golf Tournament, World Golf Village. He continued to give back to the community in St. Augustine, serving as a member of the RSVP volunteer organization and delivering Meals on Wheels weekly for the Council on Aging. He served on the board of directors for the condominium association where he and Faye lived.
His Catholic faith ever strong, he was a 4th Degree Knight in the Knights of Columbus from his hometown of Waterbury.
Ferd is survived by his wife of 44 years, Rebecca “Faye” Collins; his brother William T. Collins and wife Claudette of Waterbury; his sisters Patricia Russell of Rutland, Vermont, and Emily Ternavasio of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; his sister-in-law Joan Groton Venables and her husband Bill of Laurel, Delaware, and many loving nieces and nephews. Assisting with cremation services is the Craig Funeral Home of St. Augustine. The Funeral Mass and celebration of Ferd’s life with military honors will be held at St. Andrews Church, Waterbury Vermont, on Saturday, February 13, at 11 a.m., with a reception to follow at Parish Hall. Assisting in Vermont is the Perkins-Parker Funeral Home in Waterbury, where flowers will be gratefully accepted. ∆
Carlisle students win Globe art awards
Congratulations to the following Carlisle middle school students who won Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards this year for their artwork:
Caroline Crouse and Matthew Shenton – Gold Key Award
Gold and Silver Key awarded works will be on display at the State Transportation Building in Boston beginning February 14. The exhibit is open to the public.
The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers hosts The Boston Globe Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. It is the longest running, most prestigious recognition program for teen artists. This year was a very competitive year with over 6,500 pieces of art judged throughout the state. ∆
Third grade class sends a little love to soldiers
To give some deserving soldiers a bit of back-home cheer and also teach Liz Gray’s third grade class about a typical day in the life of a U.S. soldier in Iraq, her class, in collaboration with Whole Foods of Bedford, prepared ten large boxes of goods for five soldiers. Army Chaplain Liz Mahon visited to provide the students with an age-appropriate briefing about some of the non-combat jobs soldiers perform in Iraq and described a typical day.
The students also created beautiful cards of thanks for the soldiers and wrote thoughtful letters with plenty of questions. Each soldier received no fewer than five cards and letters in addition to their gigantic care packages that included home-made cookies, brownies, soccer balls, beef jerky, chocolates and hard candies from the children. Whole Foods provided hand creams, vitamin supplements, toys for the soldiers to give to Iraqi children, and food. Whole Foods also coordinated and funded the shipping effort.
This week the students received letters of gratitude and appreciation from some of the soldiers along with answers to their many questions. ∆
© 2010 The Carlisle Mosquito