Death of a Classmate - Ferdinand I. "Bo" Collins, Jr 14th Co.

Capt. Ferdinand I. "Bo" Collins, Jr. passed away from lung cancer on September 12, 2009 as three generations gathered at his family's home. He was born February 26, 1932 in Bound Brook, N.J., the second son of Ferdinand I. and Virginia Collins. He graduated from Phillips Academy, Andover and the U. S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, and earned a Masters in Science in Operations Analysis from the U. S. Naval Post-Graduate School. He was also certified as a Spanish Interpreter. Bo served in the U. S. Navy for 24 years, from 1950 until 1974. During that time, he was a commanding officer of the 6th Fleet, principally stationed in the Mediterranean, and a strategic analyst serving under the Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon. He served as Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on strategic arms negotiations and was the proud recipient of the Distinguished Service medal, Joint Service Commendation medal, Navy Commendation medal, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, the National Defense Service medal, Vietnam Service medal, the Navy Expeditionary medal (Cuba), and the Armed Forces Expeditionary medal (Cuba). He was a third-generation river rat, and after spending every summer since childhood on the St. Lawrence River, he relocated to the river permanently in 1975. For the rest of his life, he resided from spring through fall on family islands and wintered in Clayton, N.Y. With his second wife, Joan Rogers Collins, he was devoted not only to his island home but to the conservation issues on the River. He was a founding member of the Thousand Islands Area Resident Association (TIARA) and a member of the Thousand Islands Heritage Conservancy. His interests and passions were numerous but he developed an intense attachment for the sea at an early age. His enthusiasm for sailing and boating matured quickly and became a major part of his life. As a winner of the John Paul Jones Trophy at the Naval Academy in sailing in 1954, he found a way to leave campus on the weekend while serving as a sailing instructor. He was generous with his marine knowledge, always willing to lend a hand or opinion about boats to friends and neighbors. He was also a member of the Chippewa Yacht Club (CYC) and the Antique & Classic Boat Society. For a number of years, he was the Executive Director of the 1000 Islands Shipyard Museum (now the Antique Boat Museum) in Clayton, N.Y. Known for his friendly and outgoing demeanor, he always had a smile and a story for everyone. As talented with words as with his hands, he was equally talented fixing arcane boat motors or penning well-loved poems for family events and commemorations. He was a devoted husband, father, uncle, grandfather, great-grandfather and granduncle. His first marriage to Marcia Kenney Collins in 1959, with whom he had three children, ended in divorce. He is survived by his wife, Joan Collins; daughter Liz Collins and partner Julie Davids; stepdaughter Robin Colello and husband Joseph Colello; nephews Brock, Lawrence, and Douglas Collins; granddaughters Nina and Isabella Colello, Carleigh and Christina Collins; grandson Geoffrey Collins, Jr.; great granddaughter Elle Collins; grandnieces Madeline and Avery Collins; and grandnephew Michael Collins. He was predeceased by his brother, Morton B. Collins, sons Russell B. and Geoffrey B. Collins, and granddaughter, Lucy A. Colello. The family will hold a celebration of Bo's life at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family invites contributions in his memory to Hospice of Jefferson County, 425 Washington St., or The Lucy A. Colello Playground Fund, c/o Sherman St. School, 836 Sherman St., both in Watertown, NY 13601. Arrangements are with Cummings Funeral Service, Inc., Clayton.

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