On April 4, 2009, Donald Reimers Collins returned home to his Heavenly Father. Donald was born on September 8, 1926 to Gerald and Rosetta Reimers Collins in Los Angeles, CA.
As a child growing up, he lived in Alhambra, Altadena and Boyle Heights, CA. Don was very athletic and enjoyed playing many sports in school such as football, basketball, baseball and golf. After graduating from Alhambra High School, he joined the Navy and served honorably as an electrician during WWII.
Don returned home and began the next adventure of his life, playing professional baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers minor league team, the Salt Lake Bees. After one particular game, a young girl named Beverly Steele came up and asked for an autograph. One thing led to another and they married on February 7, 1949 on the radio program "Bride and Groom." Don later joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and their marriage was solemnized in the Los Angeles Temple.
Don left baseball and worked for the Telephone company until he found his true occupation-a fireman. He worked for the Los Angeles County Fire Department for 5 years in San Dimas and 17 years in Claremont where he saw action on the Belair fire and served on truck 102 in the Watts Riots. Don was forced to retire due to heart health problems. In 1981, five years after having bypass surgery, he and his family moved from West Covina, CA to St. George, UT.
Don loved making new friends in St. George, especially those golfing buddies on the beautiful golf courses. Unfortunately, his health continued to decline until September 21, 1986, when he received a generous gift from a 26 yr. old motorcycle accident victim - a new heart! Don was the 51st person in the Utah Cardiac Transplant Program in Salt Lake City to receive a new heart. This precious gift enabled him to be a part of many family members' lives and events that he would have otherwise missed. He even participated in the senior games playing golf. Because of this selfless gift, Donald's family will always be grateful for the extra 22 and a half years they were allowed to spend with him. He has been a wonderful example to all his family, especially on overcoming challenges and enduring to the end.
Donald was preceded in death by his wife Beverly Steele and his son Chris Lee Collins. He is survived by his children Jade (Dana) Anderson of Las Vegas, NV, Cindy (Dallan) Nalder of Holbrook, ID, Randy (Jullie) Collins of Claremont, CA, Tim (Cathy) Collins and Cathy (Cory) Pulsipher all of St. George, UT; 20 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren and his brother Clifton Collins of Winnetka, CO.
Graveside Services will be held on Friday, April 10, 2009, at 11:00 am at Tonaquint Cemetery. A viewing will be held on Thursday from 6:00 to 7:30 pm at the Desert Hill LDS Chapel located at 676 E. Desert Hills Dr., St. George.
Arrangements are under the direction of McMillan Mortuary 688-8880.