Amherst Magazine
Thomas R. Collins, Jr. '42

Tom Collins died on Sept. 5, 2009, in St. Louis, his hometown for most of his life.

Tom attended Rossman School and St. Louis Country Day School before Amherst. He was a Psi U and participated in freshman and varsity soccer, squash and basketball. He was also a member of the Christian association, speakers club, and outing club.

After graduation, Tom enlisted in the U.S. Army, rising to the rank of sergeant. A transfer to the U.S. Army Air Corps led to an assignment to Harvard Business School and a commission as 2nd lieutenant upon graduation. Working in supply channels for two years, he left the service in 1946 as a 1st lieutenant.

In June of 1948, Tom married Margaret (Miggie) Payne (Smith ’46). They had two sons, Thomas R. Collins, III and Edward P. Collins, and a daughter, Margaret. P. Collins (Peggy).

Tom had a distinguished business career in the St. Louis area. After ten years in the shoe business, he bought General Van & Storage Co., an Allied Van Lines representative. In the mid-’70s, he served as president of the National Movers and Warehousemen’s Association.  He sold General Van in 1981 and became chairman of DATS/ STOR, Inc., a records and storage company, continuing in that position until retirement in 1998.

Tom and Miggie loved golf, bridge, entertaining and traveling, particularly in Europe. For many years they spent nearly four months in Vero Beach, Fla., in the fall and winter.

Tom took his civic responsibilities seriously, serving on many charitable boards in the St. Louis area. His awards included the Silver Beaver Award for service to scouting, the Rossman School distinguished alumnus award and the St. Louis Country Day School honor medal. His St. Louis Post-Dispatch obituary stated that Tom was “kind, loving, gentle, warm, generous, interested and always humble!”

—Ted Heisler ’42

 

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