Lester Collins went to be with the Lord on July 4, 2006. His daughters, Micki Erk and Vicki Neiderworder, and his son-in-law, Larry Neiderworder, were at his bedside when he passed on at the Hans P. Peterson Memorial Hospital in Philip, SD.
Lester was born Feb. 15, 1915, at Whitewood, SD, to Edwin and Dena (Osloond) Collins. He was one of 13 children and was educated in the Rapid City area.
On March 30, 1935, Lester married Viola Harris in Rapid City. From there they moved to the Limestone area near Custer, and later to Pleasant Valley, also near Custer. In 1953, the family moved into Custer due to Viola’s health. Lester continued to work as a logger for Burns Bucholz and for O’Connor Sawmill. He moved to the Philip Nursing Home in June of 2003 and lived there until his death.
Lester was an avid sportsman and each year was filled with hunting and fishing with his sons-in-law. There was never a buck that could escape him and the biggest fish was really the biggest as he caught a trophy catfish in Nebraska.
Grateful for sharing in Lester’s life are his daughters from South Dakota: Vicki Neiderworder and her husband, Larry, of Philip and Micki Erk and her husband, Mike, from Hot Springs; three daughters from out-of-state: Shirley Todd of Arizona, Leslie Finn of Utah, and Kathleen Pikna and her husband, Jim, from Ohio; nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, and the 10th to be born in October; and all his friends who have walked this journey with him and whom he dearly loved.
Lester was preceded in death by his wife, Viola; his parents; and 11 of his brothers and sisters.
A memorial service was held at the Philip Nursing Home on Friday, July 7, at 10:00 a.m., officiated by Pastor Mark Ford. A private family burial was held near Custer.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established and may be directed to: Vicki Neiderworder/ POA, PO Box 755, Philip, SD 57567, or Micki Erk, PO Box 383, Hot Springs, SD 57747.