On Dec. 1, 2021, Thomas William Collins, longtime Crooksville village administrator, died at Genesis Hospital following complications of COVID-19. At age 67, he left behind a legacy and impact deeply embedded within the community of Crooksville, his lifelong home.

Born April 8,1954, Tom grew up in Crooksville as part of a big family, and attended the Maple Avenue Christian Church with his siblings. In his free time, he enjoyed spending time outdoors and collecting antiques, outdoor equipment and guns.

After his high school graduation, Tom enlisted in the U.S. Army and served as a parachutist in the Army’s 101st Airborne Division. Then he worked in the oil industry before returning to Crooksville to work for the village’s council and administration. Tom held the title of village administrator for over 20 years, driven to improve the community he’d always called home.

Ralph Hill, fire chief at the Crooksville Fire Department, knew Tom well thanks to his work on a number of different projects for the department.

“One of his dreams, as well as mine, was getting a new fire station built,” Hill said. “He pushed for that pretty hard, got it started and followed through with it until we got it.”

According to Hill, the community lost a big supporter of the fire department with Tom’s death. However, Hill recommends that rather than focusing on the loss, people should remember everything Tom did for Crooksville and the surrounding area.

“That was his goal, to make the community better for everybody, all around,” Hill said. “He was a great man and he’s going to be greatly missed by everybody here- the village, the police as well as the community.”

Collins is survived by his wife of 45 years, Dorothy ‘Dottie’ Collins, his children Janey (Jesse) Williams and Tom (Megan) Collins, eight siblings, five grandchildren and his dog Buddy. A service for him was held last month.

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