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Billy Dean (B.D.) Collins, 91, entered into eternal rest with his God and Savior on Thursday afternoon, April 27, 2023. Billy was born July 18, 1931, in Cobbtown, Georgia, to the late Elton Clyde Collins and the late Jennie Mae Coleman Molson and attended Berry College near Rome, Georgia during his high school years. He graduated from Collins High School, Collins, Georgia in 1948. He was a Registered Forester and worked most of his career with Union Camp Paper Corporation in many areas of Georgia and South Carolina, lastly in the Procurement Division before becoming a private Forestry Consultant and Real Estate Broker. His business, Collins Forestry and Real Estate, was based in Ridgeland, South Carolina, where he lived for about 45 years. He managed the timberlands for large tracts of land and plantations in the Lowcountry for many years, Tomotley Plantation and the entire north end of Daufuskie Island being two of them.
Ridgeland Baptist Church was his home church where he served as a Deacon in prior years, and he negotiated the purchase of the property where Ridgeland Baptist Church now stands. He loved his community and enjoyed his coffee club that met at Jasper’s Porch regularly, where he kept up with his good friends and the latest news. Billy had a winning smile and a warm personality, and he never met a stranger. He truly loved people! That is because he loved his Lord Jesus Christ and hardly ever failed to talk to people about the Lord when he was with them, making sure they knew Him too! He truly was a great man of faith. He was a very sweet, kind, tender-hearted gentleman who was known to be a man of integrity. He has left a wonderful legacy of how to love and live to his family.
Billy was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, and more to his family who loved him dearly as well. He loved deeply and is survived by his wife of 41 years, Bobbie Jean Gainey Collins of the home; his sister Carmen Ann Hufstetler of Brandon, Florida; his brother Leonard Elton Collins of Savannah, Georgia; his three children (by his former wife, Joyce Wrenn Collins) Billy David Collins (Deborah) of Clemson, Joy Delilah Collins Lyle of Walterboro, and Elton Dean Collins (Linda) of Ocean Breeze, Florida; his seven grandchildren Christopher David Collins (Kelly), Cason David Collins, Lafayette Strait Lyle, IV (Christin), Ryan Collins Lyle (Shana), Fraysse Wrenn Lyle, Jared Michael Collins, Jacob Daniel Collins; his five great grandchildren Coldin Brantley Lyle, Grace Cameron Collins, South Strait Lyle, Adalee Elizabeth Lyle, Cypress Rose Lyle; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a sister, Margaret Collins Becude.
He also loved deeply and is survived by his step-son Jody Arthur Padgett (Rose) of Bluffton; his five step-grandchildren Christopher Britton Padgett, Shelby Aldridge Padgett, Caleb Floyd Padgett, Nicole Rhinesmith (Joe Nettles) and DJ Rhinesmith (Leigh); his seven step-great grandchildren Gauge Padgett, Owen Padgett, Wryn Padgett, Adelynn Padgett, Wilder Padgett, Danielle Roth, Ella Nettles; his step great-great grandchildren, Aubrii Rose Rhinesmith, Jasen Rhinesmith; and many step-nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his step-sons James (Jamie) Cleveland Padgett, Jr., and Christopher (Chris) Aldridge Padgett. He was also predeceased by his step-granddaughter Roxanne Vigh and his step-great granddaughter Savannah Rose Rhinesmith.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at Ridgeland Baptist Church in Ridgeland, SC. The family will receive friends beginning at 10:00 am until the hour of the service at the church. Interment will follow the service at Ridgeland Cemetery, Ingram Street, in Ridgeland, SC.
Memorial donations may be made to Ridgeland Baptist Church General Fund, 1448 Grays Highway, Ridgeland, SC 29936, or Friends of Caroline Hospice, 329 Friends Lane, Ridgeland, SC 29936.