Mr. W. C. “Claude” Collins, long-time and beloved board member of MHA, passed away Wednesday, February 15, 2017. A service of celebration for his life was held at Sneedville (Tennessee) United Methodist Church on Saturday, February 18, 2017, 6:00 p. m.
Claude lived and worked in Hancock County his entire life. A graduate of the masters program at the University of Tennessee, he worked in the Hancock County Educational System for 45 years as a teacher and then a food service director.
Those who knew Claude may remember that he attended Vardy School and told stories of his hardscrabble life growing up on Newman’s Ridge –of walking down a mountain path in mornings to attend school—and how those teachers and leaders at Vardy School inspired him to become a life-long educator. Presented the first life-time achievement award from MHA, he was as genuine as they come and a mentor to many.
One person remembered him as the “best of people”—one with “spunk and a positive outlook on life.” This person remembered thinking once: “I’d like to be more like Claude. Maybe I am a better person for having known him.”
We who knew Claude are all better people for the experience.