Vern "Butch" Collins
Date of birth: July 26 1949
Date of death: May 8 2019
Vern “Butch” Collins passed away peacefully on May 8, 2019 at Salmon Creek Legacy Hospital with his loving wife, Connie, by his side.
Vern was born on July 26, 1949 in McMinnville, Oregon to Gerald Collins and Donna Lee Pedersen (VanSlyke). In 1954 his younger brother, Ronald George, was born.Vern attended Franklin High School where he enjoyed singing in the choir.He later graduated in 1967.In the summer of 1967 Vern enlisted in the United States Army and was deployed to Vietnam from 1968 – 1969.Vern ended his service to our country in 1973.
Upon his return from Vietnam, Vern became a bus driver for Tri-met.He drove the streets of Portland making friends with customers on his routes for the next 34 years.He retired in 2005.
Vern married twice before finding his soul mate and love of his life, Connie Jo Mayberry. The two were married at the Cedarville Lodge in Gresham on October 19, 1991.It was a perfect match.Vern’s love and talent for singing country music blended perfectly with Connie’s love for teaching country dance.
Vern was the lead singer for multiple bands over the years, including “12 Bars from Mars” (middle aged rock stars), 9-Piece Horn Band, Airflow “Not Just Another Desoto” with Charlie Cook & Kurt Bevers, and most famously the Vern Collins and Cross Country Band which played many benefits for Western Youth Ranch for troubled teens.The band won multiple “Battle of the Bands” competitions and also performed at the Oregon State Fair, Deschutes County Fair, the Mayors Ball and the Rose Festival.Vern absolutely loved classic country music.He wrote a number of songs, released a CD, cruised the Caribbean with country dancers from all over the US and met a number of celebrities including Ronnie Milsap & Steve Wariner.
When Vern wasn’t singing, he was home caring for the dozens of dachshund rescue puppies he and Connie Jo had taken in.No price was too high when it came to his passion for saving these four-legged little ones.
He also loved the game of golf.In the halls of the Tri-Met office, Vern’s name still hangs for winning more than 5 golf tournaments.He built up quite a reputation for his incredible golf game over the years.
Through his lifetime of singing and driving in the Portland community, Vern made many many friends.He will be missed for his generous heart, quick wit, progressive thinking, love for family and smooth country voice.
Vern is preceded in death by his mother and father.He is survived by his wife Connie Jo Collins; uncle Ronnie Pedersen; uncle Jauncie Perrizo and Aunt Connie Perrizo; brother Ron Anderson and sister-in-law Debbie Anderson; brother-in-law Rich Mayberry and sister-in-law Vicki Mayberry; brothers in law Chuck Mayberry and Wille Mayberry;four nieces, one nephew and many cousins.
An Honorable Veteran graveside service will be held Friday, May 31st at 2:30pm at Willamette National Cemetery.
A music filled Celebration of Life will be held at the North Portland Eagles Lodge on June 8th from 4pm – 9pm. 7611 N. Exeter Avenue Portland, OR 97203.
17 tribute candles have been lit
Candle lit by Staff at Crown Memorial Center Our sincere condolences.
Candle lit by Sue Picchioni May you rest in peace Vern. Thank you for your service .
Candle lit by Traci Wittren You will be missed my friend
Candle lit by Marsha & Dan Buckeye We use to country dance and take lessons from Vern & Connie. You will be missed Vern, RIP. Love, Marsha & Dan
Candle lit by Dixie McFadden Rest in Peace dear man. Thank you for your service, your tremendous BIG HEART, your incredible voice/talent and your multiple contributions to Country Music and Dance in the Portland/Vancouver Metro Area. You will be missed more than can be expressed in words. Much love to you, your family and most of all to your dear wife Connie Jo.....
Candle lit by Jack Goetz May your voice ring true through out Heaven my friend. The Lord has you now and keep a close eye on your family as the memories of your life will linger on and on. Maybe one day I will meet you again and get to listen to you sing. Rest in Peace
Candle lit by Mary Curtis Love you still.
Candle lit by Becky Romero Larsen I know you’re directing the Angels Choir they are so lucky to have you and I’m sure you’re surrounded by all of your Fur Babies that met you at the gate. You will be so very missed sing loud my Friend I’ll hear you. I’ll be Seeing You♥️
Candle lit by Katiemudhen Thank you, Uncle Butch, for loving me unconditionally. Your love meant more to me than you’ll ever know. Thank you for the laughs and precious memories made together. I’ll cherish you always, your little Mudhen. ????
Candle lit by Vicki Mayberry Until we meet again keep this candle burning
Candle lit by Keith and Lynnda Steenslid We will always remember his beautiful voice, his big heart for his four legged babies and his service to country and community. Blessing to those who cared for him as he prepared for his trip home. May his memories bring you comfort and many smiles.
Candle lit by Barbara Parras Ouch! I didn't have enough time getting to know you and family. I selfishly wish you stayed a bit longer as I need your humor to lighten my day! You always make me laugh and I so need that. However I know I cant wish you back so I will wish for you to rest in peace. Keep them laughing Vern! Hugs, Barb
Candle lit by Mike Carter Played in many TriMet golf tournaments over the years. Loved it when he would brake out and sing at many an event. After all the years at TriMet I found out today that he was a Vietnam Veteran like myself. RIP Vern
Candle lit by Pam Crow I never met Vern but he came alive for me when his wife Connie told me about him. Vern, for your music, your service to our country, your care of the pups and your generous heart, I honor your memory.
Candle lit by Mike E. quigley Vern was my first friend when I moved into town. Drove the number 28 behind the house I lived in..
Candle lit by Debbie Anderson RIP Dear brother in law....you will be missed by many and always loved.
Candle lit by Kelly Irwin I first met Vern at a meet up point when he and Connie were transporting a small family of rescue dogs and I was transporting another. I remember he was quite touched by the little pups and did not want to say goodbye but knew he must so they could continue their journey. Fast forward 3 years and I learned more, that our paths had crossed when I worked at TriMet, helping retires with their benefits, that he showered unconditional love on any Doxie or pup that crossed his path, and that Connie was his true love. May he RIP, and may Connie find comfort in knowing that he is now an Angel in heaven...still watching over the little souls....with his loving heart.