Key West lost one of its children when Barbara (Pinder) Collins was called home by her Lord and Savior on the evening of Sept. 25, following a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Surrounded by her daughter and daughter-in-law at their home in Lake Stevens, Washington, Barbara left her earthly confines and soared pain-free to the heavens on angels’ wings.
Born in Key West on Dec. 22, 1938, Mom was a proud sixth-generation Conch. Though she traveled extensively, she always looked forward to returning to her beloved island home. And she was always happy to share that she had been a member of the first class to graduate from Key West High School (1957) when it opened at its current location on Flagler Avenue.
Barbara was preceded in death by the love of her life, John Collins, Jr., her parents, Berl and Rosalie (Saunders) Pinder, and her much-adored aunt, Florence Longworth. She is survived by her daughter Cindy Tingley, daughter-in-law Sandra Herrera, best friend Susan Robinson, her beloved Chihuahua Chachy, Jr., and numerous friends and family members.
Mom loved that she had the distinction to have been the first female storekeeper for Keys Energy Services, back when it was known as the City Electric System. She began her career with the company as a budget clerk and, when she retired 20 years later, left her employment as the foreman storekeeper (another first!) for the Stock Island warehouse.
One retirement was not enough for Barbara, though. After another 10 years of service, she retired again from her file clerk position with the Civil Division of the Monroe County Records Department.
Barbara had many loves in her life, including her only child, Cindy, whom she was enormously proud of, her precious Chihuahuas Pepe and Chachi, who preceded her in death, and Chachy, Jr., who brought so much love and joy to the last four years of her life.
A favorite pastime was driving down Duval Street in her 1981 Corvette (her dream car) with the music blasting.
She also loved traveling with her best friend of almost 30 years, Susan Robinson. They would often take one or two trips every year. Whether it was on cruise ships or by car, together their adventures took them to every state at least twice, except for Alaska and Hawaii, and most of the Caribbean and Central America. They loved to regale friends and family with the stories of their travels, especially the time they saved a kitten who had gotten into the engine compartment of their rental car in British Columbia!
Mom lived a full life, filled with love. Those of us left behind will always cherish the beautiful memories we have of our time spent with her.
The family wishes to send special thanks to the amazing hospice nurses who assisted our mom during her last months, including Heather from Compassionate Care in Key West, and Anna S. and Justin from Evergreen Health Hospice Care in Kirkland, Washington.
Extra special thanks to Cindy’s best friend, Dominique Barrera, for the immeasurable love and support she has given to Barbara, Cindy and Sandra while they were navigating the many months of Barbara’s illness.
Please sign the family’s online guestbook at https://bartonfuneral.com/2020/10/05/barbara-pinder-collins/.
Arrangements are being coordinated by Barton Family Funeral Service in Kirkland, Washington, and Dean Lopez Funeral Home in Key West.
Visitation will take place at Dean Lopez Funeral Home on Tuesday, Oct. 13, from 4 to 6 p.m.
Funeral services will take place at Dean Lopez on Wednesday, Oct. 14, beginning at 1 p.m., with burial immediately following in the Key West City Cemetery.
Please note, if you plan to attend the visitation and/or funeral services the family asks you to honor their wishes by wearing a mask and using appropriate social distancing for the duration.