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Welcome to the memorial page for

Keith Laverne Collins

October 26, 1927 ~ August 25, 2017 (age 89)
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Keith LaVerne Collins went peacefully to his Lord on August 25, 2017 in Kennewick, Washington.  He was born October 26, 1927 in Burr Oak, Kansas to Wanda and Wilford Collins as their first born of seven children.


Keith and Florence were youngsters as they married in Philipsburg, Kansas on May 17, 1947.  He is survived by his loving wife of 70 years Florence Belle Collins, two daughters, Cynthia Johnstone (Wayne), Tanya McNeil (Larry). His grandchildren will miss him greatly: Curtis Johnstone (Carla), Shauna Johnstone, Trenton McNeil (Diana), David Johnstone (Shari) & Tauna Soller (Lane). Keith’s great grandchildren number 15 with one  great great grand son.


Keith is the oldest of 7 children; survived by his sisters, Pat Bartlett (Bud, deceased) and Trudy Ward, (Mike).  His other siblings preceded him in death: Jerry Wayne, Jackie Dean, Willa and Willard. Keith is survived by  sister-in-laws on Florence’s side of the family; Virginia Bias, Naomi Day and Alice Day. Keith has many friends, nieces, nephews, cousins, who will miss his great laugh and smile.


Keith was raised in Nebraska and Kansas until he and Florence were married. He then took his wife and daughters to the Pacific Northwest. Prior to that, Keith served in the US Navy from 1944-46 on USS Charles R Ware, destroyer. He is a WWII Veteran.


In his early years Keith worked on the railroad, in grain elevators and whatever would take care of his family. After moving out west he worked as a concrete inspector on a variety of dams. On some of the dams, Keith had to face his greatest fear – snakes!  Rattlesnakes were very common and numerous as they would scoop out a load of dirt, dangling with snakes!  He handled it pretty well, but would scoot out of the way. Keith began working for the Army Corps of Engineers in 1961 and retired in 1985. At this point he began his golfing career in earnest!


Keith’s family was his first love, but golf came in a close second! He shared golfing with his family and friends mostly on the Echo golf course where he got his ‘Hole-in-One’!  Keith and Florence loved to travel in their motor home even as far as Georgia to see their kids and grandkids.


Keith and Florence were long time members of the Hermiston Methodist Church. Keith served in the church and they were both very active throughout their years in Hermiston.


Graveside services will be held for Keith at the Hermiston cemetery with his family. Military honors will be given, family prayers and dedication.  

His Journey’s Just Begun
......And think of him as living
in the hearts of those he touched…
for nothing loved is ever lost
and he was loved so much.

By Ellen Brenneman

Please sign the online condolence book at

Burns Mortuary of Hermiston, Oregon is in care of arrangements.

 Service Information

Private Family Graveside

Hermiston Cemetery
Cemetery Road
Hermiston, OR 97838

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