The world lost a true Southern gentleman when Dwight E. Collins, 100, of Hendersonville, NC, joined his Lord and his devoted wife, Pat, in Heaven on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. He will be fondly remembered by family and friends for his meticulous business mind as well as his charm and outgoing personality.
Dwight was born July 20, 1921, to a farming family in Transylvania County. The son of the late S.P. and Bessie Pittillo Collins, Dwight graduated from Brevard High School before enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Corps in August in 1942. After his training, S/Sgt Collins served as a radio operator of a B-29 combat crew that saw action in China, Burma, and India. His crew experienced difficulty over China and had to parachute to safety to escape a damaged aircraft that was exploding over their heads as they fell. He and four other crew members were rescued from the Japanese by Chinese soldiers and eventually allowed to return home. In his words, “After walking us all over China, meeting dignitaries in each province, we were finally allowed to come home to our families!” After months of being MIA, his family was obviously overjoyed to have him home!
Upon his return stateside after WW II, Dwight graduated from Cecil’s Business College in Asheville, NC with a background in Business Administration and Advanced Accounting. He was employed by General Electric Company in their Medical Systems Division for thirty years. Through his travel with GE, he met and married his beloved Olive “Pat” Fancher. Work required several relocations, but after retirement in 1978, Dwight and Pat eventually returned to the North Carolina mountains … always a favorite spot filled with wonderful memories.
In addition to his parents, Dwight was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, and their son, Rodney W. Collins, as well as five sisters and one brother. He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Brenda (Paul) Heidner of Wichita, KS, as well as a number of loving nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 3:00 PM on Sunday, August 8, 2021, at Shuler Funeral Home with Rev. Charles B. Evans, III officiating. The family will receive friends immediately following the service at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hendersonville Presbyterian Church, 699 N. Grove Street, Hendersonville, NC 28792 where Dwight and Pat were long-time members.
Date: Sunday, August 8, 2021
Time: 3:00 pm
Shuler Funeral Home Chapel
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