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Obituary ~ Garry Gene Collins
September 21, 1941 ~ September 22, 2015

Des Moines Register
Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa
September 23, 2015

Garry Gene Collins, age 74, of Des Moines, Iowa, the son of Henry Earl and Jennie Evelyn (McMurtrey) Collins, was born September 21, 1941, in Leon, Iowa. He died on Tuesday, September 22, 2015, at Bright Kavanagh House in Des Moines, Iowa.

Garry grew up in Leon, Iowa. In May of 1959, Garry was in the last class to graduate from Leon High School before the name changed to Central Decatur. After graduation he moved to Des Moines, Iowa. He joined the United States Army and served two years with nine months being in Germany. After his honorable discharge he started a 22-year career at AMF Western Tool as a forklift operator. He finished his working life with the City of Des Moines in the Public Works department in the forestry area. Garry was a tree trimmer and truck driver for 18 years. He retired in 2006.

Garry was married to Karon Kay Scott and was blessed with daughter, Leasa. They later divorced. On April 13, 1979, Garry married Shirley Ann (Bales) Poortinga in Millard, Nebraska. Her four children became a part of his family, too.

Garry loved to go hunting in Colorado. He made over thirty trips with Shirley, hunting pretty rocks, Indian artifacts, and petrified wood. He, Gary Paulsen, and several other friends went deer, elk, and antelope hunting annually for over twenty years. He also enjoyed visiting and working on his Decatur County farm, attending flee markets, gun shows, and farm auctions.

Preceding him in death were his parents, Earl and Jennie Collins, and sister, Virginia Bethards. Survivors include his wife, Shirley Collins, of Des Moines; daughter, Leasa Garrett and husband, Steve of Indianola, Iowa; step children, Cheryl and Sam Riccelli, Karen and Jim Brafford, John and Terri Poortinga, and Bill Poortinga and fiancÚ Michelle Parker, all of Des Moines; grandchildren, Collin Garrett, Katherine & Brad Veach, Heather Riccelli & Matt McAtee, Ashley Patrick, Joyce Brafford, Brianna Brafford, Baylee Brafford, Jake Poortinga, Lauren Poortinga, and Shae Poortinga; great grandkids, Sammy, Jada, Madison, Brooklyn, Anthony, Aryana, and Jameson; and other relatives and friends.

Funeral services will be at the Slade - O'Donnell Funeral Home in Leon, Iowa at 11 a.m. Thursday, September 24, 2015, with burial in Leon Cemetery, Leon, Iowa.

A memorial fund has been established by the Family.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, October of 2015