Elmer Collins

Neil Collins

November 22, 1937 - December 9, 2019
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Neil Collins was born on November 22, 1937, in Faith, SD, to Elmer Fred and Mildred (Babcock) Collins. In his younger years, the family moved from Faith to Newcastle, then Sturgis and Whitewood, finally settling in Edgemont, where he graduated high school. In Sturgis he met Sharon Whitford and fell in love. Neil and Sharon were married at Grace Lutheran Church in Sturgis, December 21, 1958. They would have celebrated 61 years of marriage on the 21st of this month. They lived in Sturgis and raised 4 kids, Connie (Randy) Oliver, Newell, Karla VanDenBerg, Timnath, CO, Kevin (Lori) Collins, Sturgis, and Kelly (Melissa) Collins, Newell.
Neil worked for Western Cattle Company and other Ranches. In 1962, he worked installing fencing and gates at the missile sites in SD and ND until 1965. In 1968, he started his own business, Sturgis Backhoe and Trenching, digging basements, footings, and trenching water lines and other projects. In 1971, Neil contracted with Northwestern Belle, working alongside his father and his two sons, installing underground cable all over the hills area and also for Butte Electric, installing underground electric cable. In 1989, they bought a ranch north east of Newell after he found his true passion raising Quarter Horses. Neil and Sharon had their own production sales along with Kelly and Melissa, and grandson, Chris. People would travel from all over to buy his colts.
Neil had many hobbies, including going to horse sales (which he always came home with another horse). He also enjoyed snowmobiling, water skiing, going to rodeos, and watching his grandkids’ sporting events. Neil loved to dance and was very good at it. Most of all, Neil loved riding and training his horses and he loved his dogs, especially his last dog, Angel.
Neil loved to hear jokes, almost as much as he loved to tell them. He was known by his infectious smile and firm handshakes, and he was always the life of the party. Neil was loved by all who met him, and he never knew a stranger.
In 2014, he entered Five Counties Nursing Home, where he remained until his death.
Neil Collins, 82, of Sturgis, died Monday, December 9, 2019, in Rapid City.
He is survived by his loving wife, Sharon Collins; daughters, Connie and Karla; sons, Kevin and Kelly; grandchildren, Derek Oliver, Chad (Liz) Oliver, Tiffany (Jack) Strain, Heidi (Josh) Drovdal, Amber VanDenBerg, Chris (Candy) Collins, Casey (Kari) Collins, Derrick (Heidi) Richter, Kellsie (Wacey) Boylan, and Taurie Collins; and 14 great-grandchildren.
Neil was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Mildred; his grandparents; his foster parents, Harold and Lucia Yeager; a great-granddaughter, Peyton Berard; and son-in-law, Wynn VanDenBerg.
Memorials may be made in Neil’s memory to Five Counties Nursing Home, or the Alzheimer’s Association.
Visitation will be held from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 15, at Kinkade Funeral Chapel in Sturgis.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Monday, December 16, 2019, at Grace Lutheran Church in Sturgis with Pastor Kris Garlick officiating. Burial will follow at Bear Butte Cemetery.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    December 15, 2019 | 3:00pm - 5:00pm
    December 15, 2019 3:00pm - 5:00pm
    Kinkade Funeral Chapel
    1235 Junction Ave.
    Sturgis, SD 57785
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Funeral Service

    December 16, 2019 | 10:30am
    December 16, 2019 10:30am
    Grace Lutheran Church
    1061 Sherman Street
    Sturgis, SD 57785
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Pastor Kris Garlick
  • Interment

    December 16, 2019 |
    December 16, 2019
    Bear Butte Cemetery
    1147 Sherman Street
    Sturgis, SD 57785
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

Memorial Program

We have provided a digital copy (PDF) of the Memorial Program that we supply at the time of the service. To Download this file please click the filename below. Neil Collins - Memorial Program


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Carol Olson

Posted at 12:14pm
Neil's family, We are sorry we could not make it to the services. Sending our heartfelt sympathy and prayers to Sharon and family.
Jr. and Carol Olson


Posted at 12:43pm
My condolences to you, Karla, and to your family and friends for the loss of your father. Blessings for healing and grace at this difficult time.

pam scott

Posted at 10:24pm
so sorry for your loss, Neil was an awesome man, many great memories! take care and God bless
Rick and Pam Scott

Dale Casteel

Posted at 12:34pm
Uncle Neil was a great guy! Always had a smile on his face and a story or two! I have many good memories of him. He’ll enjoy a better place with old friends now! My love and blessings to his family, Dale Casteel

Donna Natchke

Posted at 03:42pm
I'll always remember the conversations with Neil. You were always guaranteed a good laugh. I know he will keep things smiling in Heaven. Sharon and family, know I'm thinking of you and hoping you will always smile and find comfort in the many memories he's left you.

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