Christina (“Christy”) Bennett Collins, age 62, of Homewood, passed away Monday, July 12, 2010 after an extensive and courageous battle with cancer. She was an unconditionally loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend; she possessed a spirit of compassion and a true servant’s heart that impacted all who knew her.
Her life was one of unselfish devotion to the Lord, her family, and her friends; at no point did she ever waver from this strength and altruism, always putting others before herself. Mrs. Collins was born and reared in the close-knit Greek community of Birmingham, Alabama. As an enthusiastic and active student, she attended Phillips High School and was a Varsity cheerleader.
Following graduation, Mrs. Collins attended Auburn University to pursue an undergraduate degree in Home Economics. While there, she continued to eagerly contribute to campus life as a member of the Delta Delta Chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi, Delta Kappa Gamma Honor Society for Women Educators, and the Greek Ladies Philoptochos Society. Upon completion of her undergraduate studies, Mrs. Collins furthered her education by obtaining a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Mrs. Collins began a teaching career reflective of her innate desire to better the lives of others, working as a Special Education teacher with a tireless work ethic. Her goal was not only to help students reach their highest academic potential, but also to establish in them a sense self-worth and determination that could be carried for the rest of their lives.
Even after retirement, Mrs. Collins continued to give her time and expertise to the field of education, performing special needs testing for the Shelby County and Talladega County School systems. Indeed, Mrs. Collins’ legacy is one of tolerance and unconditional love, both professionally and personally. In no place was this more evident than in the company of friends and family. She was the center of a loving and devoted family, and her sons and grandchildren were her life’s delight. She spoke of them often, and always with a smile.
She found complete happiness in the company of family and friends: watching her children and grandson play baseball, lake and beach trips with her girlfriends, dinners with her husband, and hosting family holidays were just some of the ways Mrs. Collins supported and brought together the people that she loved. Mrs. Collins’ compassion for family and friends and her inner strength kept her fighting a struggle that remained uphill from the moment 5 years ago when she was diagnosed with cancer. Her passion for life, fortified by those she loved, steadily moved her up that hill, waging a valiant and extraordinary battle against a cruel and aggressive disease.
No matter how she felt physically, however, she would draw people in with her wit and innate charm. As she came closer to going home to the Lord, her hospital room remained packed with visitors spilling over into hallways-everyone wanted to show her just how much she meant to them.
Mrs. Collins is preceded in death by her father, Steven John Bennett; mother, Ernestine Pappas Bennett; and sister-in-law, Cheryl W. Bennett. She is survived by her loving husband, John Collins; sons, Michael and Patrick (Laura); sister, Katherine Long; brother, John Bennett; numerous nieces and nephews; and grandchildren, Daniel Collins, Claire Collins, and Sarah Louis Collins.
The family received visitors on Wednesday, July 14, at Holy Trinity – Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral located at 307 19th Street South from 5:30-7:00, followed by a Trisagion service at 7:00 p.m. The funeral service was held Thursday, July 15 at 10:00 a.m. at Greek Orthodox Cathedral.
The Rev. Father Paul Costopoulos officiated the services. Internment was at Elmwood Cemetery, with the Makaria meal immediately following at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral Banquet Center.
Services were under the direction of Ridout’s Valley Chapel (879-3401) in Homewood.
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