Lieutenant Colonel James “Jim” William Collins Jr., of the United States Air Force (retired), age 67, passed away April 17, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. He was born on July 30, 1950 in Paris, Tennessee to Wilda and James Collins, Sr. Jim graduated from Pine Grove High School in Paris in 1968, after which he attended the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In June of 1974 Jim not only was commissioned as Second Lieutenant and graduated from the Air Force Academy, but he also married his beloved wife, Jacqueline Denise (Cannon) Collins. In 1975, Jim graduated from Undergraduate Pilot Training at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi in Class 76-02. In 1976, he was promoted to first lieutenant and given his first assignment at Pope Air Force Base in Fayetteville, North Carolina with the 130 MAC division. After serving at Pope for two years, Jim moved to Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, after which, he was promoted to Captain and assigned to Columbus Air Force Base as a Pilot Instructor/Check Pilot. He graduated from Squadron Officer School as a Distinguished Graduate in 1979. In 1982, Jim was assigned to the Air Force Academy as an Air Officer Commander of the Cadet 30th Squadron. The next year he was assigned to the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York as an exchange officer to assume the position of Tactical Officer commanding H4. Jim was proud to serve as a representative of the United States with the United Nations peacekeeping military personnel in Tiberius, Israel from 1990-1991 during the Gulf War, where he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. He retired from the Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1997. Jim has worked at Plexus International, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota since 1999, where he served as Master Trainer, developing curriculum and certification examinations for the aerospace and automotive industries. Jim is preceded in death by his father and his infant sister, Christy Elaine. He is survived by his mother and wife, daughter Christy Renee (James Jones) Collins, son James Jared Cannon (Heather) Collins, and grandson Westley. A graveside service will be held at Walker Cemetery in Paris, Tennessee. In lieu of flowers, please make memorials to the MPN Research Foundation (www.mpnresearchfoundation.org) or donate blood at your local Red Cross.
Appeared in The Commercial Dispatch on April 21, 2017
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