Edna "Teddy" Mayle Collins, 94, of Ashland, widow of Ransome Collins, passed away Thursday morning, November 17, 2016 at Community Hospice Care Center with her family by her side.
She was born February 7, 1922 in London England to the late Hector and Mabel Hendra Mayle. She attended Notre Dome High School in London and graduated from Ursuline High School in the London suburbs.
With World War II approaching, Edna volunteered for the British Red Cross World War II crusaders. A few years later, after only six weeks of extensive training, she found herself in a "first responder: hospital on the coastline of the English Channel. That night she heard the roar of planes leaving England toward the French coastline.
It was D-Day, June 6, 1944. Edna spent the night pondering her caregiver role in the larges amphibious invasion in history. 375,000 troops were involved crossing the English Channel to fight the Germans.
Within hours, young British, American, and Even German badly wounded soldiers were returning to the understaffed hospital. Edna took care of the soldiers flooding in and helped sort out the priority list of who needed surgery first. She assisted and witnessed many surgeries including amputations. She "laid out" dead bodies in rows. She was very young.
Six months later she was moved back to a "bombed out" hospital closer to her home in London. On leave, her mother shaved her head to rid her of head lice. Soldiers in her hospital ward said she looked like a teddy bear.
The nickname Teddy stuck.
Later in the war, Teddy was on an errand in London. She noticed an American soldier following her so she ducked into a shop. He followed and asked her to join him for dinner and she declined. The kind US Air Force soldier didn't quit the pursuit.
On May 26, 1945, Teddy married Ransome (Randy) Collins at St. Mary the Virgin Church in Brentwood outside of London.
Randy returned to Catlettsburg, Kentucky, after the war in 1945. Teddy followed in early 1946. It wasn't easy and she was homesick for her family and England. From London to Catlettsburg was quite a change.
In 1951, Teddy and Randy moved to Westwood. They were raising a family and became very involved in the community. Westwood became home.
The couple had three sons; Lynn, Neil, and Kevin. All three married local girls- Libby, Bonnie, and Sheri. Teddy "adopted her daughter-in-law's and all have become very close.
Teddy became a naturalized US citizen in the early 50's.
In 1956, Teddy decided to go back to school. After two years attending Ashland Community College and graduating with high honors, she began teaching elementary school in the Fairview Independent School System. With strong support and encouragement from Randy, She finished a Bachelor's Degree over the next four years by driving 120 miles a night from Westwood to Morehead State College and back. She raised a family and taught school the whole time. A great teacher was born! Teddy the proceeded to earn a Master's degree by driving to Marshall College in Huntington, WV, several nights a week again after teaching all day. Once more she graduated with high honors.
Teddy taught school at Fairview and retired after twenty four years of service. She remained a lifelong supporter of Fairview Schools and was later inducted into the Fairview Hall of Fame class of 2007.
Teddy enjoyed a loving marriage of forty four years to Randy until he passed away in 1989.
After Randy passed away, Teddy carried on alone for sixteen years in the same home where she and Randy Resided. She has always had a strong loving assist from Neil and Bonnie who lived very close.
Teddy lived in assisted living for the last 10 years, most recently residing at a place very near and dear to her heart, Kings Daughters and Sons Home.
She had a love for volunteering, from things with family, to her job, to her church and various social clubs as well as charitable work. She was a member of Kentucky Education Association, Kentucky Retired Teachers Association, Ashland Area Lions Club, Former President of Alpha Delta Kappa, Past President of Westwood Women's Club, Ruby Means Circle, Kings Daughters and Sons Home for the Aged Board Member, 1st United Methodist Church Women's Circle, Boyd County Cancer Society, and was one of the last two original members of British War Brides Association, just to name a few.
Teddy loved to travel and vacation with family, socialize with friends, loved to read and loved watching the Kentucky Wildcats basketball games.
In addition to her husband, Teddy was preceded in death by a beloved daughter in law, Sherri Barker Collins, a niece Gina Scaggs Epifano, and two nephews Ransome "Randy" Collins II and Nick Montgomery.
She is survived by three sons, Lynn Collins and his wife Libby, of Lexington, Neil Collins and his wife Bonnie of Russell, and Kevin Collins of Cincinnati, OH; one sister, Jeanne Montgomery and her husband Ross of Luray, VA; seven grandchildren, Shawn, Amy, Stephen, Mandy, Michael, Chris and Logan, and 13 great grandchildren. Special nieces and nephews Sue and Phil Collins and Mona Scaggs. Along with a host of extended family and friends.
A Celebration of Life will be take place 2:00 PM Sunday, November 20 2016 at Caniff Funeral Home in Westwood. Visitation will be from 6:00 - 8:00 PM Saturday and one hour before services.
Teddy requested that memorials take the form of donations to Kings Daughters and Sons Home, 1100 Bath Avenue, Ashland, KY 41101 OR St. Jude's Children's Hospital, or Community Hospice Care Center 2330 Pollard RD, Ashland, KYK 41101
Online Condolences may be left for the family at canifffuneralhome.com
November 13, 2017 11:00am, CANIFF FUNERAL HOME
Rose Hill Burial Park