Frances Fidler Collins, 89, died on Saturday, February 3, 2018 at Transitions Life Care in Raleigh NC. She had been staying with her daughter, Sharon Withington, and son in law Douglas.
Frances was a longtime resident of Duanesburg NY. She was born on November 5, 1928 to Nathan Hale and Helen Larson Fidler of Altamont NY. She graduated from Draper High School and from the State University of New York in Cobleskill with an Associate’s Degree. She then worked at General Electric Company in Schenectady. She married her beloved husband, Norman S. Collins, on August 16, 1947.
Living first in Schenectady, then Duane Lake, then in the Village of Delanson and finally in the log cabin they built on the Fidler family farm.
Norm and Fran had three children, Sharon Louise, Patricia Ann and Mark Lindsay. Frances was to be busy her whole life in her home, her church and her community. She was an active member of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Duanesburg for 71 years. She taught Sunday school and Vacation Bible School, volunteered at Camp Pinnacle and hosted many visiting missionaries in the Collins Home.
Frances also taught release time classes at her home and volunteered as a teacher’s aide at Duanesburg Central. She wrote a social column for the Schenectady Union Star was a 4 H leader and served as the school tax collector for a number of years.
While active in the pro-life movement from its beginning, she remained involved in the lives of neighbors, especially of those in need. For many years Frances and Norm gave significantly of their time and resources in support of the Schenectady City Mission. Then at a time when many are considering retirement they traveled with Teen Mission International to several countries in western Europe , serving as adult leaders and support staff and even accompanied missionaries on visits to Christians in Russia, Poland, and all the Eastern Block countries except Romania before the collapse of the Soviet Union. In more recent years Frances was an active member of the Duanesburg Historical Society and enjoyed writing memoirs with friends in a writing group called Scribblers.
She was predeceased by her husband of almost 70 years, Norman Collins, who died last April 2017. She is survived by her brother Albert (Diane ) Fidler, and her sister Shirley (Don)Martin both of Duanesburg , her daughter Sharon (Douglas) Withington of Raleigh NC, daughter Patricia (John) Van Voorhis of Bennington VT and Mark and (Ginny) Collins of Quaker Street ; grandchildren Zachary VanVoorhis, Katie Kiyanitsa, Daniel VanVoorhis, Grant Withington, Melissa Whitford, Courtney Freemyer,Ben Withington and Paul Collins and great grandchildren Bryce VanVoorhis ,Evelyn Kiyanitsa and James Kiyanitsa. There may be no better phrase to capture the character of France’s life than the one she used to sign her letters to beloved family and friends. It was a phrase which described her own experience of delight in her God and Savior and conveyed her desire to share that experience with others. So this tribute concludes with her signature “Love and joy in Jesus, Frances”