JOHN 'RICHARD' COLLINS
John "Richard" Collins, 71, passed peacefully at his home early Wednesday morning with his family by his side.
Richard is survived by his wife of 35 years, Kathleen; his daughter, Christine; and his son, Matthew (Dovile) of Naples; and three grandchildren: Lyra, Livia and Lukas; as well as his brother Edward "Larry" (Ann) of Lithia and his brother William (Julie) of Melbourne and many nieces, nephews and wonderful friends.
Richard was born July 18, 1941, in Key West, the son of the late Houston "Rip" Collins and Jesse (Whitmarsh) Collins. He graduated from Key West High School in 1959. After graduating from the University of Florida, Richard began his career as a captain in the Air Force, serving a double tour of duty in Vietnam, where he was awarded a Bronze Star for meritorious service as security, law enforcement and sentry dog officer in charge, 3rd Security Police Squadron. He went on to get his master's in criminal justice from Florida State University. Richard then returned to Key West, where he worked as a deputy sheriff and then detective. He continued his career in Ohio, where he became chief of police in Brookfield Township. He was an assistant professor in the Criminal Justice Department at Youngstown State University. After earning his law degree at Akron University, he returned once again to Key West, where he started in private practice before becoming an assistant state attorney. Under Billy Freeman, he became legal adviser for the Monroe County Sheriff's Department. He was an adjunct professor at Florida Keys Community College and St. Leo's University.
Richard continued his career as School Board attorney for many years before becoming county attorney. Before retiring in January, he was legal adviser for the Monroe County School Board and was serving as a member of the Judicial Nominating Commission for the 16th Judicial Circuit.
He was also very active in American Legion Post 28 and the VFW.
A celebration of his life will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, upstairs at the American Legion. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to the Miami VA Fisher House, Miami VA Healthcare System, 1201 NW 16th St., Miami, FL 33125.
The Dean-Lopez Funeral Home is entrusted with all funeral arrangements.