In loving memory of

Norman Lee Collins
September 9, 1937 - July 17, 2020

Norman Lee Collins, born September 7, 1937 in Luttrell, Tennessee, passed away on July 17, 2020. The son of Olivia Housewright Collins and Lester Vaughn Collins, he was one of nineteen children; survived by Minnie Weaver (Knoxville, TN) and Tressie Smith (Kokomo, IN). He leaves his loving wife of 62 years, Sonja Jo Smith Collins and children Roger Stuart (Lisa) and Joel Lee (Sherrie); preceded in death by son, Dr. Dale Alan. He also leaves his grandchildren Emily Ferguson (Charles), Erin Collins, and Eric Collins, and one great-granddaughter, Olivia Louise Ferguson. Norman graduated from Horace Maynard High School in 1956, Lincoln Memorial University in 1960, and received his Master's degree in Spanish from the University of Tennessee in 1971. He taught at Gibbs High School for 31 years and at Lincoln Memorial University for 10 years. Norman loved to learn, teach, and travel. He is to be buried at Shoffner Cemetery in Harrogate, TN. In lieu of a service, individuals may contact the family directly to send condolences. Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel is honored to serve the Collins family and invites you to view and sign the online registry.


Lisa Bridges wrote on Jul 25, 2020:

"Mr. Collins was one of those teachers I still remember 40 years later. He was so kind and friendly. An asset in so many young lives. Rest easy Mr. Collins."

Mitzi Hipsher Lundy wrote on Jul 21, 2020:

"I?m so sorry to hear of Mr. Collins? passing. He was an amazing teacher who made history utterly fascinating to me and sparked a lifelong love for it that I have passed on to my children. I enjoyed knowing the Collins family both at church and school and have especially fond memories of growing up with Dale with his keen mind and quirky humor. I will be praying for Mrs. Collins, her boys, and their families."

Marcia Collins wrote on Jul 20, 2020:

"So sorry to hear that Uncle Norman has passed. Prayers for his family. Marcia Collins"

Michael Lynch wrote on Jul 20, 2020:

"I am very, very sorry to hear that Mr. Collins passed away. He was an exceptional teacher, and those of us who were fortunate enough to take his classes and join his trips to Spain and Latin America idolized him. Condolences to the family. ?Michael Lynch"

Jeff Cleveland wrote on Jul 20, 2020:

"So sorry to hear about Mr. Collins? passing. He was a committed teacher and youth baseball coach, and I was fortunate enough to have known him in both roles. We need more people like him in our world today. He was an exceptional man."

Kevin wrote on Jul 20, 2020:

"Condolences to Aunt Sonja Jo and family . Our Great Uncle Norman was also a Great Man . No finer of soul has walked the earth . "

Ted Greene wrote on Jul 20, 2020:

"Mr. Collins was one of my favorite teachers in High School. The way he taught us Spanish, you had NO CHOICE but to learn it because after the first two weeks of class, there wasn't a word of English spoken in class. I enjoyed his World History class also. Good man !! Ted Greene "

Brenda & Clifford Cline wrote on Jul 20, 2020:

"Sorry to hear about the passing he was a great person and I enjoyed just setting and talk with him and gram we send our condolences to the family and you know how to get us if you need anything love you guys"

Phyllis Blalock wrote on Jul 19, 2020:

"I am so sorry to hear this. I was in Mr.Collins classes for three years. I always enjoyed his teaching. My prayers for his family."

Elyse Lambert Costner wrote on Jul 19, 2020:

"I had Mr. Collins for Spanish classes at Gibbs in the 70?s. Every now and then, I still recall things from those classes and from the Spanish Club. I?m so sorry for your loss. My deepest condolences to his family."

Mandi Breeden Walket wrote on Jul 19, 2020:

"He was such a nice kind funny teacher. He is one of many that led me to teach. "

David Baker (C.O. 1990) wrote on Jul 19, 2020:

"I was one of Mr. Collins? US History students my junior year. I was not a very good student due to laziness. He challenged me and in essence changed me forever although he probably didn?t know it. RIP Mr. Collins Prayers and condolences to his family."

Richard Arnold wrote on Jul 19, 2020:

"Norman was a bible scholar and I remember many of his comments and knowledge he passed on when we were members in church together. His teaching leaves positive memories of encouragement for so many. Thank you Norman. "

Christina Arpino wrote on Jul 19, 2020:

"So sorry for your loss. He was my spanish teacher. Very kind man and very patient. "

Mario Morales López wrote on Jul 19, 2020:

"My deepest condolences to the Collins family. He was a person who loved to teach Spanish and the Spanish culture and people. He helped students in Guatemala to graduate from high school which proved the humanitarian person that he was. May he rest in peace. May God give strength to his family in this difficult time. Mario Morales López "

Darrell Haynes wrote on Jul 19, 2020:

"So sorry to hear this. Never had him as a teacher but we were neighbors for a long time."

Lisa Kelley wrote on Jul 19, 2020:

"Oh my.. I?m so sorry to hear this.. Mr. Collins was my Spanish teacher when I was a freshman at Gibbs High School in 1980!. He was so patient and made learning easy and fun!! "