Richard Ray Collins was born to Wilford Ray Collins and Bonnie Jean Eshelman Collins on October 13, 1958 in Wellington, Kansas. He departed this life on March 21, 2020 at the age of 61. He is survived by his wife, Paula; son, Morgan and wife, Jennifer, son, Westin; his brother, Gene and wife, Christina; five nephews and one niece.
As a small child, he lived in Braman where his Dad had a mechanic shop. The family later relocated to a farm in the Nardin Community. Richard had many fond memories of helping with the family custom harvesting business and was a quick learner on how to back trailers, and maintain, load and boom heavy equipment. He inherited his Dad’s amazing mechanical skills and kept everything in excellent repair.
He married the love of his life, Paula Sue Koehn, at Zion Lutheran Church in Lahoma on November 9, 1979. Together, they road motorcycles, went boating, and took trips together to favorite places like San Antonio. He graduated from Northern Oklahoma College and went on to OSU to major in Mechanical Engineering. True to his personality, he burned the midnight oil to work his way to the top of his classes and set the stage to become a world class engineer. During this time, their two sons, Morgan and Westin, were born. He was a wonderful dad, taking them everywhere with him.
He worked for Waldon’s in Fairview, and Mertz, and Modern Supply in Ponca City as a draftsman. He managed manufacturing plants for Modern Supply, later Dresser Industries, and Cameron International, in Ponca City. From 2009 to 2013, he was an engineering manager for production plants in Ville Platte, Louisiana and Houston, Texas. His specialty was customized ball valve and actuator setups for the petrochemical industry and he worked on projects implemented in the North Sea and Gulf of Mexico, Sahara Desert and Australia. He also designed ball valve actuation setups for large municipalities all across America. His attention to detail and excellent customer service made Cameron the company of choice for large utility companies.
He raised cattle most of his married life, except when the family temporarily moved to Louisiana. After returning home to northern Oklahoma in 2013, he started a new chapter in his life -- restarting the family cattle business and teaching Westin the ropes. He enjoyed his cows, the tractors and producing quality hay. Whenever possible, he and Paula did everything together. On March 9, he bought a new Brangus bull and had it delivered. He started his amazing chapter but left it for us to finish.
There will be a graveside service for Richard on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. at Pleasant Hill Cemetery near Meno. Arrangements are by Lanman Funeral Home, Inc. of Medford. Viewing will be Tuesday 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. at the funeral home in Medford. www.lanmanmemorials.com Facebook: Lanman Funeral Home Inc.
Memorials may be made to Hospice of North Central Oklahoma through the funeral home.