Thomas Frederick Collins, known as T. Fred Collins, was born in El Reno, Oklahoma, on October 26, 1923. He passed away on February 19, 2011.


Thomas Frederick Collins, known as T. Fred Collins, was born in El Reno, Oklahoma, on October 26, 1923. He passed away on February 19, 2011.


He was preceded in death by his father and mother, William F. and Laura Hankins Collins; brother, William F. Collins Jr.; and sisters, Edna Gilbreath, Marianne Rowsey and Laura Freeman.


His family moved from El Reno to Oklahoma City shortly after his birth where he attended Putnam Heights, Harding and Classen High Schools. After graduating from Classen in 1941, he earned degrees of Bachelor of Science in Business and a Juris Doctorate at the University of Oklahoma. While at the University, he was a member of Kappa Alpha Order Fraternity and served as its president and other capacities. During the course of obtaining his Business Degree, he served in the U.S. Navy as business manager for the Naval Flight Cadets Recreational House on the Campus. He also served as president of the Inter-fraternity Council while at OU, and was instrumental in activating fraternities on campus following World War II.


During his last year in law school, he married his longtime sweetheart, the former Sarah Ann Love, of Ardmore, Oklahoma. After graduation, Sally and Fred moved to Ardmore where Fred practiced law for more than 62 years. Fred formed a partnership in the practice of law with his son, Lorenzo, in 1982, under the firm name of Collins and Collins and they remained partners until his death.


Fred was a faithful member of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and served it for more than 60 years in many ways, including Chairman of its Official Board, Chairman of Board of Trustees, and Sunday School teacher.


Fred was formerly a member of the Ardmore Rotary Club having served it as president and in other offices. He was a Paul Harris Fellow. Fred also served his community as a leader for several organizations, including The Red Cross, YMCA, and was a Co-Founder and organizer of what is now called the Southern Oklahoma Ambulance Service. He was a member of Ardmore Masonic Lodge #31, a 32-degree Scottish Rite Mason and a Shriner.


In his earlier days of practice, he was an assistant County Attorney of Carter County and City Attorney for the City of Ardmore. He chaired the first Zoning Commission created by the Ardmore City Council. Quail hunting and friendships formed from that activity were one of Fred’s favorite pastimes. With several hunting buddies, he helped form the Carter County Amateur Quail Hunter’s Club that was very active for many years in their efforts to bring about better relations between hunter and landowner. Being a part of this organization and getting to know so many people across the county and working with farmers and ranchers to improve wildlife habitats were a real source of pleasure to Fred. His other hobby was playing golf with friends throughout many years and especially the pleasures of fellowship with the so called “Noon Group”.


He was a member of the Carter County, Oklahoma and American Bar Associations and was admitted to practice before the U.S. District Courts of the Eastern and Western District Courts in Oklahoma, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. In 2008, Fred received a Certificate of Recognition for 60 years of faithful service to the public by the Oklahoma Bar Association.


Fred and Sally were the proud parents of three children who are Thomas F. Collins Jr., whose wife is D’Lila of Oklahoma City, Laura L. Clay, whose husband is Dr. Garland Clay of Ardmore and Lorenzo T. Collins and his wife, Rebecca, of Ardmore.


Fred is survived by his wife; their three children; and seven grandchildren, Mallory Love Clark, Thomas F. Collins III, Dr. Sarah Veazey, Lorenzo Ryan Collins, Marci Love Collins, Natalie Brooke Collins and Allison Olivia Collins; and three great-grandchildren, Barron Jackson Clark, Elinor Love Clark and Isabella Grace Clark.


Memorial services will be conducted by Don Bohlcke in the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 515 Maxwell, Ardmore, Oklahoma, beginning at 2 p.m. on February 24, 2011.


In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Fred’s church or donor’s choice.


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