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Joan Collins: Longtime Manteca business owner

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POSTED July 17, 2013 2:22 a.m.

After learning about Joan Collins’ “devastating stroke” last week, her friends with the Manteca Garden Club were very concerned.

“She has a long journey ahead of her,” Carol Bone commented in an e-mail to other club members, “but we all know what a firecracker she is.”

Unfortunately, the former longtime business owner and a lifelong mover and shaker in The Family City ran out of time to show her “pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstrap” spunky attitude. Four days later, on July 13, after “fighting all the way through,” she lost the battle at the Stroke Center of Doctors Hospital in Modesto. She was 86 years old.

A longtime member and past president a of the Manteca Garden Club, Collins and her late husband Clarence were insurance brokers and owned Collins insurance, one of the first insurance firms in Manteca. Their business was located for many years in the building at the northeast corner of East Center Street and Garfield Avenue which the family still owns and is leased to another business. Collins also held several positions of responsibility with the garden club including being chairwoman several times of the annual Manteca garden tour whose proceeds were used to help beautify various public parks and other locations in Manteca and to award scholarships to selected high school seniors in the Manteca Unified School District.

Collins also was active with the women’s auxiliaries of Doctors Hospital of Manteca and the VFW. Service clubs that she also belonged to include the Manteca Federated Women’s Club, the Manteca Historical Society, the local chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, and the Manteca Mural Society. In recent years, she was very active with the Red Hat Society Diamond Lil’s of Manteca.

She had a lifelong penchant for travel and, at one time, once called Hawaii as her home, and was “ready to go at all times and never a hair out of place,” according to members of her tightly knit extended family. They also remember her as someone who was “vibrant, energetic, (and) always willing to volunteer and extend a helping hand.”

Born in Olustee, Oklahoma, Collins was preceded in death by her husband Clarence “Bus” Collins and daughter Roilynn Collins-Dickman. Survivors include her daughters Sharon Collins-Brabham of Texas and Colette Collins of Seattle; grandchildren Rebecca Joan Brabham-Alder, Jack Edward Brabham, Jr., Jessica Lynn Dickman, Gregory James Dickman, Jennifer Elaine Dickman, and Melissa Adele Dickman; great-grandchildren Layne Colberson and Shaun Culberson-Alder whose arrival is being awaited by the family. Also surviving are Collins’ siblings, Norman Jean Welch and Lyla Seghers, and niece Iris Morgan who “held a special place” in her aunt’s heart.

Visitation is set for Friday, July 19, from 1 to 5 p.m. at P.L. Fry & Son Funera lHome, 290 N. Union Road in Manteca. A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, July 20, at 2 p.m. at P.L. Fry & Son. Final resting place is Park View Cemetery, 3661 E. French Camp in Manteca.

Condolences to the family can be posted at

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