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James (Jess) Collins
March 12, 1949 ~ March 1, 2023 (age 73) 73 Years Old
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James “Jess” Collins passed away on Wednesday, March 1, 2023 at the age of 73. Jess was born on March 12, 1949, and lived the majority of his life on the Camas Prairie and in the surrounding Mountains of Central Idaho.
Jess was a force of life who will always remain with those who loved him. He had a soul bound to nature and was a fiercely loyal husband and father. These passions extended into a meaningful career as a middle school shop teacher—another part of his life he held dear—as well as spending countless hours in nature hunting with his son, camping and cutting wood with his family, and horseback riding in the backcountry.
He lived with simplicity and integrity. Quiet though often demanding, he expected his children and students to work hard and strive to do their best. He viewed himself as a cowboy who lived in the wrong time period, he'd say, but in this life, he lived well, with a heart of gold, a with a very endearing dry sense of humor.
These words cannot possibly sum up the life of this wonderful man, but it is a glimpse into knowing him.
He will be remembered with much love by his wife, Beth (Drake) Collins; his children Craig and Cindy (Remacle) Collins, Christy (Collins) and Joshua Day, and Carri (Collins) and Ben White; his grandchildren Tigerlily, Madison, Ty, and Logan Collins and Dylan Day; his siblings Connie and Bruce McLeod, Karen and John Tefft, Bonita and Gary Chancellor, Joleen Evans, and his brother-in-law Greg Drake; seven nephews, two nieces, and two horses.
Jess graduated from the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho, and went on to become a dedicated educator at the Grangeville School District for over 30 years. His infamous stubborn streak inspired his students. Jess refused to give up on them no matter their struggles and continued many of those relationships far beyond the school year.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Jim Collins and Edna (Konrad) Collins, his cousin Brian Konrad, his nephew Tyson Chancellor, and many cherished aunts and uncles, whom he has now returned to.
Per his wishes, no formal services will be held, but the family will be hosting a Celebration of Life on April 29, 2023 at their home in Grangeville. More details to come. Arrangements are under the direction of the Blackmer Funeral Home, Grangeville. Send condolences to the family at blackmerfuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the American Diabetes Foundation or the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.