Stephanie Collins met her future husband in the Backdoor Lounge at Midway when the two competed in a karaoke competition. Bob Collins sang a George Jones song that begins “I’ll love you till I die.” She beat him with Patsy Cline’s “Crazy.”
Mr. Collins also sang to her on their wedding day seven years ago, she said.
“He had an incredibly romantic side that nobody ever saw,” she said.
One of Stephanie Collins’ favorite memories is of falling asleep with her husband in a living room recliner they called the “double wide.”
“He was a fantastic husband and a good dad,” she said. “He was really my stronghold.”
Mr. Collins, 34, of Hallsville, died early Sunday morning in a one-car accident on Gans Road south of Columbia. The Boone County Sheriff’s Department said the cause of the accident is not known. He was not wearing a seatbelt and was pronounced dead at the scene with extensive injuries.
Mr. Collins worked as a systems administrator in charge of computer and information systems at the Columbia Missourian since 1997.
“He was awfully patient and level-headed,” Missourian General Manager Dan Potter said. “Bob was one of those people that solved problems before people even knew they’d cropped up.”
John Meyer, who worked with Mr. Collins at the MU School of Journalism, said his death leaves “a big gap for us from the personal side of things. ... It’s a big loss for us as far as our work goes because we relied heavily on Bob.”
Mr. Collins was co-coordinator of a program with the Grandview Baptist Church in Murry that teaches children about Scripture through games. He also worked each summer with the Vacation Bible School program at the church.
His favorite music was bluegrass, Stephanie Collins said, and he loved to fish and bowl.
“He had a passionate zest for life,” she said.
He served in Operation Desert Storm on the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.
Mr. Collins also co-owned Carpenter’s Computers in Hallsville. The business opened in September 2002 and was taking off, Stephanie Collins said.
Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Million-Taylor Funeral Home in Madison. Services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday.
Surviving family members include children Joshua Thomas, 16, of Ashland and Kari Thomas, 18, of Springfield; and Mr. Collins’ mother, Hazel Collins of Madison.
In addition to working two jobs, Mr. Collins also cared for his wife, who has been fighting several illnesses recently. He was “a man’s man,” Stephanie Collins said. “He could think on his feet. He could do things on the fly.
“He was very good at life.”