We mourn the death of Alf Collins, who died on April 12, 2020 from complications of Alzheimer’s.
Alf was a kind, sweet and loving man with a zest for life that enveloped his family and friends.
Alf is survived by Shirley Collins, his beloved wife of 51 years and his three children, Kelly (Richard), Kerry, and Patrick (Kimberly) Collins. He loved his four grandchildren, Melissa (Brian), Suzanna (Paul), Mikaela (Dave), and Maria, and five great grandchildren, Cameron, William, Elizabeth, Jonathan, and John. Every dog he met found a place on his lap.
Alf was born in Berkeley Calif. to Alfred P. and Ruth Collins. He graduated in 1958 from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif., with a degree in English. Alf loved writing and made a career in newspaper journalism, starting at the Modesto Bee and then at The Seattle Times. During his 20 years at The Seattle Times, Alf wrote a variety of columns, from Odd Parcels, about real estate happenings in Seattle, to City Gritty, about Seattle nonprofit organizations, and Fast and Fresh, which highlighted restaurant news. Alf’s proudest accomplishment was to create Saturday’s Child, a weekly column to introduce special needs children hoping for adoptive homes.
Through his journalism, Alf was a champion of the underdog. He gave women’s issues a voice in the newspaper and helped the Friends of the Market campaign shine a light on the forgotten people who lived in the Pike Place Market.
Alf started an entrepreneurial newsletter, Professional Agenda, with the intent of keeping professionals in different businesses informed of happenings of mutual interest and benefit. He also wrote the copy for the Sur La Table catalogues.
Among Alf’s community service accomplishments, he was appointed to the Pike Place Historical Commission by former Seattle Mayor Norm Rice, was executive for Allied Arts Foundation, and served on the board of Food Lifeline. Alf and Shirley retired to live and garden on Whidbey Island, Wash.
Alf’s curiosity and caring about people and places is what made him not only a great journalist, but also wonderful companion, friend, and father. His sense of humor was renowned and he was not satisfied until everyone in the room groaned over his puns. He was a wicked cribbage player and made sure all of his children and grandchildren knew how to play the game so that he could beat them. His day did not start until he had read three newspapers and completed the crossword puzzles.
No services are planned at this time. Memorial donations may be made to Food Lifeline at https://foodlifeline.org/donatefunds/
Family and friends are encouraged to share memories and condolences at www.whidbeymemorial.com