Eric Leo Collins died from respiratory failure March 3, at home in Gig Harbor. As many know he only had one lung and it gave him 52 amazing years.
Born Feb. 11, 1969, to parents James and Patricia at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, he was welcomed into this world by brothers Mark and David and sister Mary.
Eric graduated from Wilson High School in Tacoma in 1988. During those years he played trumpet in the band and was active in the Boy Scouts, where he earned his Eagle Scout award. He went on to earn his certification in auto mechanics at Bates Technical College in Tacoma.
Eric met his future wife, Kathy Oliver, at Life Center Church in Tacoma in August 1998, where the couple still attended at the time of Eric’s passing. Eric and Kathy were married at Fox Island Alliance Church June 19, 1999.
The couple loved to travel and often took road and day trips to some of their favorite places.
Eric had many interests. He was active in his church and enjoyed his Bible study group. He was creative with woodworking projects and made several items for Kathy, including a holder for her measuring cups and spoons and a bird feeder. He loved to play Santa at Christmas for his neighbors and their grandchildren, in addition to playing Santa for the residents of Life Manor, the assisted living home located at their church. Eric was heavily involved at the Key Peninsula Civic Center where, along with Kathy, he served on the board and volunteered for many fundraisers and events. His favorite fundraiser was the annual fireworks stand, which Eric and Kathy ran for several years.
Eric is survived by his wife, Kathy; father, James; and by his sister, Mary Matt. He was preceded in death by his mother, Patricia, and brothers Mark and David Schuster. Eric was laid to rest at Haven of Rest Memorial Park in Gig Harbor at a graveside service March 12.
A date for a memorial service will be announced at a later time.
UNDERWRITTEN BY NEWSMATCH/MIAMI FOUNDATION, THE ANGEL GUILD, ROTARY CLUB OF GIG HARBOR, ADVERTISERS, DONORS AND PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT LOCAL, INDEPENDENT NONPROFIT NEWS