Dobson town commissioner succumbs to illness

First Posted: 10/28/2009

DOBSON Long-time Dobson Commissioner Clarence Collins was remembered Wednesday as a man who offered a steadying and reliable influence on the towns government.
Collins, 81, of Dobson, died Tuesday, after an extended illness.
Two of the men who served with him on the Dobson Board of Commissioners Wednesday described Collins as a hard worker, a steady force on the board, and someone who was willing to listen to all sides of an issue before making up his mind.
He never seemed to have his own agenda about anything, but he was always right there, working, said Mayor Ricky Draughn, who has held his post for eight years. He might not have been the most visible (commissioner), but he was always there, always doing his job. He was a good board member. He was just dedicated, I think, Id say he was level-headed about things.
Wayne Atkins, who served as town manager from 1993 until retiring shortly before he was appointed to the board of commissioners in February of this year, had similar words about Collins.
First of all, Clarence was just a fine gentleman, Atkins said. He was a hard worker, he believed in what he was doing, he didnt take any short cuts. He worked at everything the way it should be. Thats the way his conscience told him to do it.
Collins came to Dobson in 1962, when he was transferred from Mayodan to the town by Washington Mills. He remained at Dobson, working as an assistant plant manager, until he retired. He also drove a bus for Central Middle School for 12 years, and he was a newspaper delivery man for 46 years.
He was up very early in the morning, for years and years, Atkins said. I guess he probably knew about everybody in town, where they lived and so forth.
Atkins said Collins was a commissioner who wanted to make the right decisions based upon what he thought was best for the town.
He would listen to the issue, once he had listened to all sides, he made up his mind and he stayed with it. I never knew him to go wrong on many issues, if any.
He was just always willing to listen, Draughn said. All the way around a good board member.
The town has lost a good friend, Atkins said.
Collins seat is one of two that is up for grabs in next weeks election, with six candidates vying for the two posts. He was not running for re-election, and the seat should be filled with one of the two election winners starting in December.
His funeral will be at 1 p.m. on Friday at Dobson First Baptist Church with burial to follow in the Ellisboro Baptist Church Cemetery in Madison. His body will be taken to the church to lie in state 30 minutes before the service.
The family will receive friends at Moody-Davis Funeral Home today from 6 to 8 p.m.
Contact John Peters at [email protected] or 719-1931.

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