White-Blossoms

Fay Randle Collins

September 8, 1942 ~ April 1, 2024 (age 81) 81 Years Old

Fay Randle Collins Obituary

Fay was born in the city of St. Louis, Missouri, and was the youngest daughter to Clarence Roland, Sr. and Mrs. Ray Anita Roland. She matriculated through the St Louis Public School system. She went to Cupples Elementary School and Soldan High School. One thing about Fay was evident early on – she never met a stranger, and, in her presence, she had a way of making everyone feel special. Many of her friends today are people she met early in life from school or from the neighborhood who share fond and funny memories of her life and influence.  Mom was raised in a strict holiness Christian home. Although my grandfather didn’t really attend church, my grandmother was a faithful member of the Bethel Temple Church of Christ Holiness, USA and she raised all her children in the way of Holiness. The kind where the girls were not allowed to wear pants. There is a story that my mom wanted to wear pants to school, so she left the house with a skirt on but had some pants on under the skirt. When she got out of the watchful view of my grandmother, Mom took the skirt off rolled down those pant legs, and went into the school. As soon as school was over though, the skirt came back on again and she walked home. Mom was the youngest girl of her 7 siblings. Because she was the youngest girl, she was spoiled by her older
siblings, especially the sisters – that is partly the cause of her strong love for fashion and shopping. Her parents and all her siblings – Gladys, Helen, Jacqueline, Clarence Jr., Charles (Petey), Regina, and Herbert preceded her in death. Her mother was a strong, stern but kind woman who loved God and her family. A thread of immense personal strength is found in all those Roland women, and they made sure all their children had a strong sense of family. It didn’t matter how crazy a family member behaved, they were family and always had a seat at the holiday
family dinner table. This sense of loyalty to the family also permeated in her relationships with friends. Mom was loyal sometimes to her own detriment.

Mom was married three times. Her first husband was Raymond Hollins. They married young and only stayed married for a very short time. To that union, I was born and shortly after my birth, Raymond Hollins announced that he didn’t want to be married and she didn’t protest. I once asked her why she just let him leave when she had such a young baby and her response was, “If he don’t want me, then I don’t want him either – Raymond you never want anybody who doesn’t want you!” A few years later, she met and married her second husband, Samuel Randle. He was the man she stayed married to the longest and it was to that union that my brother Gregory was born. Mom truly displayed the attributes of what the bible referred to as a virtuous woman – she “built” her house. She worked hard to make sure her family always had what they needed. She had a strong work ethic and didn’t mind working hard. Sam started several businesses and mom was there to assist him in the beginnings of every one of them. Her main employment was as a Customer Service Support Provider for Missouri Pacific Railroad which later became Union Pacific. To make sure all the ends met, she also was what I call a “serial entrepreneur.” In addition to working for the railroad (as she put it), she would also win top sales awards for selling Stanley Home Products, Avon, and Princess House Crystal. Whatever her side hustle was, Mom persuaded everybody she knew to purchase those products. When Mom and Sam’s marriage ended, and mom was determined to keep her sons in a lifestyle that we had grown accustomed to – catholic schools and living in our own home. She worked like crazy to keep her home and her sons safe. She was a fierce protector of her sons and made sure her sons had access to every opportunity for success. Mom worked hard but still found time to bowl, skate and shop. Shopping was her favorite thing to do, and she could spend hours – literally hours in the stores. Somehow, she had friends who loved shopping too. Because of her love for clothes and shoes, Mom had a strange habit. Upon coming into her presence, she would start at your feet and look at you all the way to the top of your head and in that moment make an assessment of you based on your attire.

Mom married John Collins in December of 2002 and John preceded her in death.

Mom started showing signs of dementia as early as 2007. Because there is no real treatment for the disease, she was given a plethora of different medicines that treated symptoms and often had terrible side effects. Left untreated and under treated she got progressively worse. In 2015, her husband who was dealing with his own illnesses due to years of smoking, announced he would no longer be willing to manage her care and suggested she come to Atlanta to live with me. The woman who had graciously taken care of so many people was now in need
of someone to take care of her. Physically, she was strong, vibrant, and healthy but she was losing large parts of her memory to Alzheimer’s.

Early after she first moved to Atlanta, she often spoke of her mom, sisters, and her good girlfriends by name. She would tell so many stories and laugh fondly. Her proudest accomplishments were her sons, she adored her daughter-in-love and her grandchildren. Oh, how she loved those grandbabies. Not seeing Gregory regularly, she was often interested in his well-being because, “That is my baby”, she would say. As the years progressed, the stories became less and less but she always asked about, “her baby.” Alzheimer’s ravaged her memory to the point her speech became nonsensical and unintelligible. In her final month, she quit walking and in the final week, she became bedridden and would not eat or drink. The final week she just laid in her bed and stared into space periodically mumbling as if she was watching and communicating with something or someone. On her final morning, as I sat with her, the nurse came in and adjusted her, turned her head, and in that moment her eyes met mine. For the first time in a week, I felt as if she saw me. I looked her in her eyes and told her that her “baby” was fine and gave her an update on his life. I said that I knew she was tired and if she was ready that she could leave. On that evening, Monday, April 1, 2024, at 7:19 pm she passed peacefully.

She leaves to cherish her memory, her two sons, Raymond Randle Sr and his wife Tracy; her “baby” Gregory Randle, her grandchildren whom she loved dearly, Raymond Jr., Rylan, and Rayne, and a host of nieces, nephews, and extended family members, so many very dear and close friends. She will be sorely missed.

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