Obituary: Karen Collins


Karen Collins of Eldridge, died Feb. 12, 2020, at home surrounded by family, after a fight with Alzheimer’s.

Karen was born in Iowa City on Jan. 18, 1938, to Louis and Mildred (Furhmeister) Scheetz.  She graduated from Iowa City High in 1955, and married Dick ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Collins on June 3, 1961.

Karen had an amazing way to make people feel special.  No one was a stranger in her presence and every encounter you had with her began with a big smile and an even bigger hug. She was authentically kind and caring, rooting for the underdog and always ensuring that no one was ever left out of anything…ever.  She was a loyal Iowa Hawkeye as well as a North Scott Lancer fan and if you were a student in the 1980s, you were certain to have witnessed one of her famous ‘two bits, four bits’ cheers from the stands.  She loved her work at the Eldridge Public Library and shared her own love of reading by serving for years as a volunteer reading buddy at her beloved Alan Shepard Elementary. Above all, Karen loved her family and was happiest when the entire rambunctious ‘Collins Clan’ was home, gathered around the table, laughing and telling stories.

The world has not only lost a piano-playing, card-shark, class-wit, old Hollywood movie buff but also one half of the best parent combos a family could ask for.  She could never bring herself to say anything unkind about anyone, and although her family teased her about being a "goody two shoes," it is that part of her character that we will miss most.  We could do with a lot more ‘Karens’ in this world.

Along with her husband of 58 years Richard (Dick); six children (all of whom would claim to be her favorite); Dan (Valeria) Collins, Julie (Dan) Newell, Jennifer Collins, Doug Collins, Marcy (Matt) Mendenhall, and Jeff Collins; eight much-loved grandchildren, Madeline, Jackson, Mallory, Libby, Gus, Arden, Declan and Faolan and faithful foot warmer and four-legged protector, Willie; she is survived by brothers Allen Scheetz and Rick Knoke.  She was preceded in death by her parents.

Visitation was held Friday, Feb. 14 from 4-7 p.m. at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Long Grove.  Additional visitation was from 10-11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15, at St. Ann’s and a celebration of life followed at 11 a.m.  A private family burial will be held at a later date.   Donations can be made to the Friends of the Eldridge Library, St. Ann’s Catholic Church and /or the Karen Collins Memorial Fund.


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