I'm sure that most of us who read Reba's posts on this forum never realized what a famous lady she was.She was a well educated lady and held positions of esteem in the state of Oklahome.In the years preceding her death, she, like so many others, became interested in pursuing her roots.But sadly, we lost her in 2005, and the world lost an amazing woman.Here is her obituary:
Reba (Neighbors) Collins
Edmond resident, Reba (Neighbors) Collins, 80, died Monday, Nov. 14, following a brief illness.
She was born Aug. 26, 1925, in Shawnee.
Collins grew up on a farm north of Edmond where she attended Rock Mound School. She attended Edmond High School but never graduated as she eloped on her 16th birthday. She was married in Kingfisher County to Delmar L. Collins.
Collins worked at Haliburton, Streets and Sears. She was able to take the GED exam, available to veterans at that time, and began studies at Central State College (CSC) in January of 1955. She graduated with the class of 1958. She earned a masters in journalism from Oklahoma State University (OSU) in 1959 and a Doctorate in Journalism for Higher Education from OSU in 1967. She did further graduate work in Speech and Journalism at the University of Oklahoma. Collins began teaching at CSC while still working on her bachelor's degree and continued for 17 years. She retired from the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) as a full professor and Director of University Relations. She left UCO to become the director of the Will Rogers Memorial and Birthplace from January of 1975 to August of 1990. Her husband, Delmar, worked as the facilities manager. She taught history part time at Rogers University while at the Memorial.
At the time of her death, Collins was Director Emeritus of the Will Rogers Memorial, Professor Emeritus of UCO, wrote newspaper columns for the Edmond Sun and the Bethany Times-Tribune, wrote book reviews for The Daily Oklahoman, and was a freelance writer for various newspapers and magazines.
Collins authored Will Rogers: Courtship and Correspondence; Will Rogers and Wiley Post in Alaska; Will Rogers Memorial [Guide book]; Will Rogers: Roping Will's Family Tree; Will Rogers, Writer and Journalist; History of the Janes-Peek Family, including four addenda to the Janes-Peek book; and Alice Robertson, Congresswoman for Oklahoma; and One-Room Schools. She edited a number of books, including: Will Rogers Says; Will Rogers Says...On the Constitution; and The Old Home Ranch. Collins was considered the foremost expert on Oklahoma's native son, Will Rogers. At the time of her death, Collins was working on a biography of Will Rogers, Jr., the Neighbors Family Genealogy, and "Reba, Her Story."
Collins was a member of the Daughters of American Revolution, the Samuel King chapter in Edmond, and was an organizing member of the Verdigris Valley chapter in Claremore. She was the first woman member of the Optimist Club in Claremore, a member of Delta Kappa Gamma for several years, the organizing president of the Public Relations Association of Oklahoma, and the charter president of the Pilot Club in Claremore. She was a lifetime member of the UCO Alumni Association, serving on the board almost continuously for about 30 years. At the time of her death, she was serving on the Board for the UCO Foundation, the Edmond Historical Society, and was a member of the Edmond Genealogy Society, Logan County Historical Society, Claremore Historical Society, Oklahoma Heritage Association, Oklahoma Historical Association, and Sigma Delta Chi.
Collins was preceded in death by her parents, Susie Ione (Peek) and Robert Luther Neighbors of Edmond, three sisters, Venita, Florene and Carleta, brother Robert Luther Neighbors Jr.; and two husbands, Delmar L. Collins, and William Anderson Hubbard, both natives of Logan County.
Collins loved her students from UCO, boasting of their successes often. She had a zest for life and great love and support for the communities of Guthrie, Edmond, and Claremore, for UCO, for the life and history of Will Rogers and his family and for her own family. She instilled in her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren the importance of a college education. Her favorite title was "Grandma Reba."
Survivors include three siblings, Wanda I. (Neighbors) Voss of Edmond, Fred Neighbors of Naples, Fla. and Paul Neighbors of Fort Myers, Fla.; three children, Rebecca (Collins) Janes of Edmond, Wanda Jean "Wendy" (Collins) Johnson of Edmond and Dennis Mikel Collins and wife, Kathy, of Phoenix, Arizona. Other survivors include eight grandchildren, Marla Peek of Edmond, Marcy Greene and husband, John, of Corpus Christi, Texas, Missy Pickens and husband, Gregg, of Stillwater, Monica Hardesty and husband, Norman, of Laramie, Wyo., Eric Johnson and wife, Debbie, of Oklahoma City, Adam Johnson and wife, Caroline, of Yukon, Christina (Collins) Perrine and husband, Chris, of Edmond, and Jennifer Collins of Edmond; thirteen great-grandchildren, Rebecca Webb of Bartlesville, Kelley Webb of Edmond; Riley and Jace Harrell of Corpus Christi, Texas, Justin, Ella and Pete Pickens of Stillwater, Ian Hardesty of Laramie, Wyoming, Sydney Johnson of Oklahoma City, Mason Johnson of Yukon, Kahla and Lilliana Belle Perrine of Edmond, and Kiersten Collins of Edmond.
Service will be 10 a.m. Thursday at the Baggerley Funeral Home in Edmond.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, sympathizers may send a donation to their favorite charity.