MASSENA -- Fred R. Collins, 91, formerly of Massena, died at home in Green Valley, AZ on Friday, March 2, 2018. He was born on July 19, 1926 in Parnassus PA, to Floyd and Martha Koedel Collins. Following the death of his father in 1927, he and his mother resided with his grandparents, Frank and Ida Painter Collins in the Karns area of Harrison Township, PA.
Fred graduated from Har-Brack Union High School in 1944 and from Brown University in 1947 where he earned his ScB in electrical engineering and was commissioned an ensign in the US Navy Reserve. He joined ALCOA Laboratories in New Kensington, PA in 1947 where he conducted research and helped develop an aluminum welding metal alloy that was used to fabricate the fuel tanks of the Saturn V rocket that boosted the first men to the moon.
In 1967 he was named manager of the Electrical Products Division of ALCOA Laboratories in Massena NY. In Massena he was an active member of the Emmanuel Congregational Church and a past commodore of Lake St. Lawrence Yacht Club.
In 1975 he joined the headquarters staff of ALCOA Conductor Products Co in Pittsburgh, PA where he directed research, development and engineering until retiring as vice president in 1985. Fred enjoyed his retirement for 32 years in Green Valley and was active at Valley Presbyterian Church, La Canoa Lions Club, GVR Hiking Club and loved 4-wheeling in his vintage Isuzu Trooper. Regardless of where he lived, Fred followed his passion for music. A life-long church choir member with a deep bass voice, he also participated in barbershop quartets and holiday musicals.
He was predeceased in 2010 by his wife of 60 years, Gladys June Montgomery Collins and is survived by children June (Thomas) Catanzarite of Prescott Valley AZ, Martha (Charles) Stewart of St Charles MO, Scott (Lucy) Collins of Twin Falls ID, Frank (Kim) Collins of Leechburg PA and Wendy (John) Faith Beach of Sahuarita AZ, 12 grandchildren, many great-grandchildren, and brother-in-law E.E. “Mike” Montgomery of Ft. Myers, FL.
A celebration of his life will be held at Valley Presbyterian Church on Monday, April 9 at 3 pm. Friends will be received in the Fellowship Hall immediately following the service.
Memorial contribution may be made to Valley Presbyterian Church, 2800 S Camino Del Sol, Green Valley AZ 85622 or to Soulistic Hospice, PO Box 1990,Tubac AZ 85646.