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Obit – Mr. Paul Ray Collins

Mr. Paul Ray Collins, age 78, of Lebanon, TN, passed away on Tuesday, July 25, 2023.

Mr. Collins was born April 18, 1945 in the Crawford Community of Overton County, TN, a son of the late J.D. Collins and Dorothy Lee Vaughn Collins. He married Shirley Estelle McKinney on January 14, 1972.

Mr. Collins graduated from Smith County High School in 1964. He then enrolled in Tennessee Tech University where he was a member of the ROTC Marksmanship team. He was the rifle team captain and an All-American in shooting. After graduating in 1969, he entered the United States Army at Ft. Benning, GA in the Marksmanship Training Unit.

Mr. Collins then taught at Gordonsville High School from 1971-1973. He also entered the Tennessee National Guard in 1971 in the Marksmanship Training Unit in Nashville, TN. He travelled to many shooting matches in the United States and he narrowly missed a chance to go to the Olympics.

Mr. Collins was a member of the U.S. Rifle Team that went to Mexico City in 1974 and 1975 to participate in the Benito Juarez Championship and won a Silver and Gold medal, respectively. He was also a member of the U.S. Rifle Team that travelled to England in 1977 to compete in the Dewar Cup match and was the Any Sight Grand Aggregate Champion.

Mr. Collins taught marksmanship in the ROTC Department at Tennessee Tech University from 1985-1990, when he retired from the TN National Guard.

Mr. Collins is survived by Wife of 51 years; Shirley McKinney Collins of Lebanon, TN. Children; Denise (Jared) Smallwood of Lebanon, TN and Brent Alan Collins of Lebanon, TN. Grandchildren; Stella Collins and Mason Smallwood. Sister; Carol (Randall) Wooten of Vina, AL. Brother; Odas JD (Judy) Collins of De Motte, IN.

Funeral Services for Mr. Collins were conducted from the Gordonsville Chapel of Bass Funeral Homes on Friday, July 28, 2023 at 11AM with Bro. Terry Cathey officiating. Interment followed in the Baird Memorial Cemetery in Hickman, TN.


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