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John Collins

John Fopiano Collins, passed away at his home in Twickenham on July 14, 2006, with his wife of 65 years at his side.
   He was 91 years old.
   A memorial service will be held Saturday, July 22, at 11 a.m. in the Mitchell City Park. A private burial will be held in the Collins Family Plot at the Fopiano Ranch Cemetery, in Mitchell.
   John was born Feb.17, 1915, in Riverside California, to James Rainer and Lily (Fopiano) Collins.
   John and his three brothers, Bob, Jimmy and Paul, grew up on the Fopiano Ranch on Waterman Flat, Mitchell, Ore., and in 1935 he graduated from Benson Polytechnic High School in Portland.
   He had a lively and curious mind and at Benson he was able to take such courses as machine design, gasoline engine repair, welding, and aviation.
   And it was at Benson that he developed a life-long love of flying and working with machinery.
   One of his greatest pleasures was to rummage through a pile of scrap metal and rebuild a piece of farm equipment with it.
   On December 7, 1940, John married Sherla Stewart in Canby, Oregon. After serving in the Merchant Marines during World War II, he moved his family to Wheeler County, where he remained as a rancher for the rest of his life.
   He was proud of a few things: being Cattleman of the Year; Father of the Year; county commissioner for more than 40 years and on the Columbia Power co-op board for more than 30 years; a member of UFO's - United Flying Octogenarians; founding director of the Community First Bank. He loved to level land, build dams, and "make the earth a little greener."
   He was a voracious reader, especially of the technical books and Scientific American Magazine.
   He was a member of Prineville Elks Lodge, the Canby Masonic Lodge and the Prineville Country Club.
   He is remembered for his love of nature, his inquiring mind, his cheerfulness, and his keen sense of humor and lively wit.
   In addition to his wife, he is survived by: his daughters and sons-in-law, Pat and Steve Gabbe and Bobby and Marvin Ferenstein; grandchildren, Adam and Erica Temple, Daniel and Amanda Gabbe, and Jennifer and Allison Ferenstein; great-grandson, Alex Jordan Temple; his three brothers and their wives, Robert A. and Ruth, of Mitchell, James, R. and Georgia of Mitchell, and Paul A. of Prineville; a nephew and five nieces; and his beloved dachshund "Oscar."
   He was preceded in death by his parents, and a nephew, David Collins in 1992. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests you make donations to Pioneer Memorial Hospice Program, 1201 NE Elm St., Prineville, Oregon 97754, Ambulance Fund of Mitchell OR 97750; or the Oregon Institute of Technology "Head and Hands" Scholarship Fund, 3201 Campus Drive, Klamath Falls, Oregon 97601.
   Arrangements are in the care of Prineville Funeral Home.