Evelyn Padgett Collins, 86, died Saturday, July 30, 2011 at her residence. She was born May 8, 1925 to the late Luther Padgett and the late Georgianne Herrington Padgett. Mrs. Collins graduated from Appling County High School in 1941. Her teaching career began in the fall of 1941 at the age of 17. She taught two grades at Liberty School in Appling County. When Liberty School was consolidated with Dyal School she moved to Dyal School to teach. She was principal at Dyal School from 1956 to 1965. During that time she usually taught two grades. Evelyn was also a basketball coach, librarian and lunchroom manager.
From this early beginning she had a love and a passion for teaching children, the key to success in life, begins with a good education. To be an educator a college degree is mandatory and in the summers and many night classes later, she graduated from Georgia Southern, and attended the University of Georgia and Mercer University. Mrs. Collins spent 37 years as a classroom teacher, principal, reading specialist and curriculum director. During this duration of 37 years she was employed by the Appling County School System, the Cobb County School System and Worth County School System.
In 2009 she was the recipient of the Appling County Citizen of the Year award. Mrs. Collins was an active member in the Appling County Retired Educators Association and a lifelong member of Zoar Baptist Church, where she spent many years as a teacher and as director of Vacation Bible School. She was a member of the Mary Wheeler Sunday- School class. Her husband, Loran Collins, a sister, Joyce Swain and a brother, J. L. Padgett, preceded her in death.
Survivors include a daughter and son-in-law, Karen and Tommy Bowen of Baxley; three grandchildren, Kai Bowen and T. J. Bowen, both of Baxley and Brooke Reagin of Hazlehurst; and one brother and sister-in-law, Thomas Edison and Joyce Padgett of Baxley.
Funeral services were held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, August 2 at Zoar Baptist Church with the Revs. Greg Rentz and Jeff Waters officiating. Interment followed in the church cemetery.
Active pallbearers were E. L. Coleman, Billy Coleman, Albert Coleman, Randall Odum, Johnny Padgett and Roger Cain.
Honorary pallbearers were members of the Mary Wheeler Sunday-School Class and deacons of Zoar Baptist Church and the Appling County Retired Educators Association.
Musical selections were rendered by David Williams.
Arrangements were under the direction of David E. Miles Funeral Home.