Mama went to sleep this morning and the arms of Angels carried her home. We know she is seeing the face of Jesus and the choirs of angels are singing. Her favorite song was "His Eye is on the Sparrow" and I know she is hearing it sung by angels now. Praise God. She is in the arms of Jesus and finally reunited with Daddy. That is all she wanted and all she longed for.
Mary Elizabeth Richards Collins was born on April 28, 1918, in Homestead, PA, to Lillian Kerr and Leonard Richards. She moved to the Valley with her mother and grandparents when she was a child. She lived in San Benito, Texas, until she was 24 yrs. old and met and married the man she loved with a depth and bond not even his death could break. How she longed to be with him again. The very last words Daddy said on this earth were, "I love you, Elizabeth". How she clung to those words. She is with him again. Thank God we can be sure of that. They wait for us to join them.
She had four daughters and a beloved son, Bubba. As we girls were growing up, there never was a night any one of us could come home undetected after an evening out. Not one of us was ever able to sneak in the back door and not find Mama waiting in the same chair pretending to read but really watching and listening for a car to pull up or the phone to ring. She sat up nights making baby doll clothes when we were little and prom and graduation dresses when we were older. And always, always watching and keeping an eye on the boys we dated. How proud she was when she was talking and said "my girls".
And then along came the one and only son, Bubba. What fun she had when he arrived! Bubba was the blessing of her life and even at her passing he was always at her side. She loved him so. And Bubba loved her so deeply that near the end he was willing to let her go. He made her passing so much easier by telling her it was ok for her to go. That took the greatest love of all. She was so proud of him.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, Lauranza Pinkney ( L.P.) Collins, the only man she ever loved.
She leaves behind one son, William Edward (Bubba) Collins, her four daughters, Sarabeth Cawlfield (late husband, Ronald Cawlfield), Teresa Ann Smith (Thomas Smith) of Brownsville, Martha Collins of Kerrville, and Laura Phyllis Kelch (Bob Kelch) of Victoria.
She is also survived by her grandchildren, Randall Cawlfield (Lydia) of Brownsville, Timothy Smith (Kathy) of Spring, Samuel Smith (Diana) of Edinburg, Kimberly Cawlfield Boldon (Kato) of Peoria, Arizona, Mary Margaret Smith Naylor (Ric) of San Antonio, Sharon Cawfield Van Zandt (Charlie) of New Braunfels, Michelle Davis Colombo (Rocky) of Tuscany, Italy and Darrell Wayne Davis of Kerrville. Just as her children were grown, along came the grandchildren and she became Mema. What love she had for each one. They were the apple of her eye. And the great-grandchildren began to arrive and how she loved them.
She loved the staff and all the people at Valley Grande Manor. Their care was so loving, kind, and gentle. A very special thank you to Dr. Pelly. He worked tirelessly to give our mother the very best of care. All those who cared for our mother were angels sent from Heaven.
A chapel service celebrating Mary Elizabeth’s life will be held on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 10 a.m. in the East Chapel at Darling-Mouser Funeral Home. Interment will follow at Rose Lawn Memorial Gardens immediately following the service. We ask that everyone meet at the cemetery as there will not be a procession to the cemetery.