Neil Collins: 1937-2019
Neil Collins was born on November 22, 1937, in Faith, SD, to Elmer Fred and Mildred (Babcock) Collins. In his younger years, the family moved from Faith to Newcastle, then Sturgis and Whitewood, finally settling in Edgemont, where he graduated high school. In Sturgis he met Sharon Whitford and fell in love. Neil and Sharon were married at Grace Lutheran Church in Sturgis, December 21, 1958. They would have celebrated 61 years of marriage on the 21st of this month. They lived in Sturgis and raised 4 kids, Connie (Randy) Oliver, Newell, Karla VanDenBerg, Timnath, CO, Kevin (Lori) Collins, Sturgis, and Kelly (Melissa) Collins, Newell.
Neil worked for Western Cattle Company and other Ranches. In 1962, he worked installing fencing and gates at the missile sites in SD and ND until 1965. In 1968, he started his own business, Sturgis Backhoe and Trenching, digging basements, footings, and trenching water lines and other projects. In 1971, Neil contracted with Northwestern Belle, working alongside his father and his two sons, installing underground cable all over the hills area and also for Butte Electric, installing underground electric cable. In 1989, they bought a ranch north east of Newell after he found his true passion raising Quarter Horses. Neil and Sharon had their own production sales along with Kelly and Melissa, and grandson, Chris. People would travel from all over to buy his colts.
Neil had many hobbies, including going to horse sales (which he always came home with another horse from), snowmobiling, water skiing, going to rodeos, and watching his grandkids’ sporting events. Neil loved to dance and was very good at it. Most of all, Neil loved riding and training his horses and he loved his dogs, especially his last dog, Angel.
Neil loved to hear jokes, almost as much as he loved to tell them. He was known by his infectious smile and firm handshakes, and he was always the life of the party. Neil was loved by all who met him, and he never knew a stranger.
In 2014, he entered Five Counties Nursing Home, where he remained until his death.
Neil Collins, 82, of Sturgis, died Monday, December 9, 2019, in Rapid City.
He is survived by his loving wife, Sharon Collins; daughters, Connie and Karla; sons, Kevin and Kelly; grandchildren, Derek Oliver, Chad (Liz) Oliver, Tiffany (Jack) Strain, Heidi (Josh) Drovdal, Amber VanDenBerg, Chris (Candy) Collins, Casey (Kari) Collins, Derrick (Heidi) Richter, Kellsie (Wacey) Boylan, and Taurie Collins; and 13 great-grandchildren.
Neil was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Mildred; his grandparents; a great-granddaughter, Peyton Berard; and son-in-law, Wynn VanDenBerg.
Memorials may be made in Neil’s memory to Five Counties Nursing Home, or the Alzheimer’s Association.
Visitation will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 15, at Kinkade Funeral Chapel in Sturgis.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Monday, December 16, 2019, at Grace Lutheran Church in Sturgis with Pastor Kris Garlick officiating. Burial will follow at Bear Butte Cemetery.
Condolences may be sent to the family at http://www.kinkadefunerals.com. F