Memorial graveside services are scheduled at 2 p.m., Friday, June 3, 2011, at Woodbine Cemetery, Artesia, for longtime Artesia and Roswell resident Elizabeth J. Collins, of Roswell. Mrs. Collins, 95, died Wednesday, May 25, 2011, in Roswell.
Elizabeth was born Jan. 7, 1916, in Ragtown, Okla., the daughter of James Ottis Hammond and Bessie (Evers) Hammond. She was a lifelong resident or Artesia and Loco Hills, before moving to Roswell. She was a member of a longtime Artesia-area family. She came to Artesia in 1923 at the age of seven, moving from Ada, Okla., where her father was a cable tool driller. Between her father and older brothers, her family was instrumental in developing Artesiaâ€™s fledgling oil industry, particularly in the Lakewood and Red Lake fields.
Elizabeth married Dee Thorp in 1934, in Roswell. On March 23, 1942, she was married to Frank Collins, in Las Cruces. Frank preceded her in death April 9, 1990. She was also preceded in death by her parents, and by five siblings, Charles, Theodore, James, Walt and Elsie. During World War II, she aided in the war effort by working in shipyards in Long Beach, Calif., from 1942 to 1944, and helped build P-51 Mustang fighter planes in Dallas, from 1944 to the end of the war.
She was a homemaker and thought the most important thing in life was education. She was a longtime member of the Order of Eastern Star. She was a proud member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, for which she was eligible on both sides of her family. She also enjoyed golf, making four holes-in-one during her lifetime, and was member of golf organizations in Artesia and Roswell. Survivors include sons, Richard Thorp and wife Beverly, of Nogal, Donald Thorp and wife Maud Olean, of Alamogordo, Robert Collins and wife Sherri, of Denison, Texas, and Roy Collins and wife Judy, of Roswell; grandchildren Derick, Robert, Vicki, Steven, Barry, Bonnabeth, and Jamie; nine greatgrandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.