Irene “Louise” Collins, 94, died peacefully Sept. 16, 2021, in Lake Stevens, Washington, surrounded by her family.
She was born in October, 1926 in Smoot, Wyoming, to Wilford “Austin” and Alice Elnora (Johnson) Porter.
In 1946, she met Jefferson “Jeff” Collins while working at a restaurant in Pocatello, Idaho that prepared food for the troop trains coming through.
“They went dancing, fell in love and were later married in Olympia, Washington for 58 years,” her family writes.
They resided for several years in Shelton, Washington, until Mr. Collins’ career took them to Ketchikan and later Kodiak, where they lived for nearly 30 years.
Mrs. Collins was very active in politics during her time in Alaska. In the 1960s she joined the movement of equal rights for women. She was the president of the League of Women Voters of Alaska, and served as school board president for many years.
They retired and lived for 34 years in Lebanon, Oregon.
“Louise was a loving, compassionate, and dedicated mother, raising four strong, independent daughters,” her family writes. “... Whether it was a bonfire on the beach, playing charades, a boat trip, a fabulous cooked meal, a bridge game, or the countless volunteer hours she gave to her communities, Louise touched so many friends & family. She will be missed dearly.”
Mrs. Collins was preceeded in death by her husband, Jeff; daughter, Mary; son-in-law, Paul Ossowski; parents. Austin and Alice (Johnson) Porter; brothers, Max and Melvin; and sisters, Eva and Della Mae Gibbons.
She is survived by her daughter, Jean and son-in-law Tim McDaniel; daughters, Cathy Decater and Barbara Ossowski; seven grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; sisters, Florence and Betty; and brother, Lynn and sister-in- law Seloma.
No service will be held at this time. Plans for a celebration of life will be held next year when large gatherings are allowed.