Myrdie Dell McKinley Collins passed away on Oct 31, 2019 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She was born in Vredenburgh, Alabama in 1922, and grew up in nearby Camden, Alabama. During High School she worked half days for the National Youth Administration (NYA) saving money for college. But, with the start of World War II, workers were needed at Brookley Field in Mobile, Alabama. There, she trained as a draftsman and worked in that capacity from 1941 until 1943 when she joined the Marine Corps as part of a newly formed unit of Women Marines (WMs). She served at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina and Camp Miramar, California.
After the war, she used her draftsman skills to a land job with Southern Bell Telephone Company in Miami, Florida. After several years with Southern Bell, she moved back to Camden where she married and raised two sons.
During this time she worked at the Wilcox County Agricultural Office for eight years. Thereafter she became the Executive Secretary of the Red Cross for Wilcox County and the county Service Officer for the Alabama Department of Veterans’ Affairs. She retired after 24 years of service in these positions. In 2004, a few years after the death of her husband, she moved to Albuquerque, NM to be near her family and young grandson.
She was a member of the Albuquerque Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). Former memberships include the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC), Order of the Eastern Star, and the American Legion.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 49 years, William R. Collins, her brother Marvin Donald McKinley (WWII), and one sister and three brothers who died in childhood or infancy.
She is survived by her two sons, Colonel Marvin Donald Hall (Libby), United States Marine Corps (ret.) of Alexandria, VA, and Colonel William Michael Collins (Vonnie), United States Air Force (ret.) of Albuquerque, NM; her sister Eleanor Barmgartel of Lakeland, FL; and her grandson Justin McKinley Collins, of Albuquerque, NM.
A memorial service was held at the Albuquerque Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) on Monday, November 4, 2019. A funeral service will be held at the Camden Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints, 435 Earl St., Camden, Alabama, at 11:00 AM on Friday, November 8, 2019. Burial will be in the Camden Cemetery on Broad Street.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The Camden Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, c/o Barney McIntosh, ,824 County Road 12 East, Camden, AL, 36726 and/or American Legion Post 84, c/o Johnny Webb, PO Box 121, Camden AL, 36726.
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