Neva Frances Guinn Collins, of Advance, North Carolina died Sunday August 21, 2022. Neva was born March 18, 1936, in Belle, Missouri. She graduated from Belle High School and moved to St. Louis in 1953 and spent her life there before moving to North Carolina in October 2014. Neva was the daughter of Effie Deckard Guinn and Roy Arvel Guinn. Neva grew up on a farm with her siblings Nola Guinn McDaniel, Nina Guinn Tynes, Norah Guinn Lindsay, and Leroy Guinn, all who preceded her in death.
After graduating high school Neva left the farm and moved to St. Louis where she lived in an apartment with a few other girls. Every Sunday she heard church bells out her window and one Sunday she decided to go to church. It was at this church that she met Jim Collins. Neva and Jim Collins got married on June 27, 1959 and were married until Jim preceded her in death on May 20, 2021.
After Neva married Jim, she worked to put Jim through law school. Eventually Jim and Neva had two daughters, Shari Lynn Collins and Camala (Camy) Ann Collins. Camy married Dan Francis in 1990 and Neva and Jim became grandparents to Alexander Collins Francis and Madison Collins Francis. Alex and Madison gave Neva an entirely new focus in life, and she spent the last 29 years of her life in constant celebration of being their grandmother.
For her work career, Neva worked as a secretary in the math department at Washington University in St. Louis where she showed her natural intelligence typing and proofreading the math department papers and formulas. She left that job when Shari was born and took off work until Camy went to kindergarten. Neva then went to work for Monsanto in St. Louis in the accounting department. Neva was a Systems Analyst and programmed Monsanto’s computers in the accounting department to balance the spreadsheets of 245 entities. Neva spent 37 years at Monsanto, retiring in 1990. Neva achieved the highest level of pay and title that could be achieved in her department at Monsanto without having a college degree. That was a source of great pride and great pain to her as she was doing the same work that all the others were doing in the department but was short changed in her title and pay because she did not have “that important piece of paper.”
Neva was extremely smart and had a great sense of humor. Neva loved to laugh. She loved to have fun. She loved quips and sarcasm. She loved to play games. Neva and Jim bowled, and square danced competitively. Neva was a voracious reader. She loved mysteries both in print and on film. She spent way too many hours of her life watching crime dramas and true crime shows. She loved the movie The Pelican Brief and watched it every January 1. She spent way too much time on the QVC channel where she would provide the family with an extraordinary number of things and gadgets both highly useful and not, but she thought we would like them.
Neva’s earthly Heaven was in Estes Park, Colorado. Neva was a completely different person in the mountains. She was full of peace. She loved nature. She loved animals. She loved trees and flowers. The beauty of life and nature was omnipresent in the mountains, and she would spend hours just sitting and taking it in. Neva loved and admired the Native American culture and everything that went along with it. The people, customs, food, art, craftsmanship, jewelry, pottery, and she spent a lot of time in Colorado experiencing those things. We believe that Neva’s Heavenly home will be filled with an even higher level of these experiences she so enjoyed in Colorado.
The North Carolina funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 25, 2022, at Salem Funeral and Cremation, 120 South Main Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101 with Reverend Tyler Tankersley and Pastor Lester Holcomb officiating. An addtional service will be held on Monday, August 29, 2022 at Sassmann's Chapel in Belle, Missouri from 2:00 p.m until 3:00 pm.. Interment will follow in the Liberty Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that memorial donations be made payable to Ardmore Baptist Church and earmarked for the Sunday School department. The address for the church is 501 Miller Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27103.