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Ben K. Collins

Ben K. Collins, 98, of Argilla Road, Ipswich, died Friday, August 3, 2018 in the Masconomet Healthcare Center, Topsfield following his long illness.

Born in Denton, TX, April 14, 1920, the son of the late Ben and Ann A. (Bott’r) Collins, he came to Ipswich in 1944 while serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps. It was here he met and married the love of his life, Jane Lathrop. They were married in First Church, where they became life-long members. Ben began work for Lathrop Bros. Coal & Oil following his Honorable Discharge. Together, he and Jane worked at the business, which would eventually become theirs when Jane's father passed away. Later they sold the business and Ben would go on to own and manage several businesses including a local gas station and the Ipswich Ford dealership. He later became a real estate broker in Hamilton. He was a savvy businessman, succeeding in all he undertook.  Ben was a community leader, as well, a lifetime member of the Rotary Club. Honored not long ago for his more than sixty years in the organization, he held numerous leadership positions including President. His best friend, Nat Pulsifer, affectionately referred to him as "President Ben." He served as President of the School Board, as well as on the Board of Trustees for several charities and organizations. He also spent many hours working at the visitors' center, sharing stories and historical facts about Ipswich. He loved his church, his community, the Rotary Club and other organizations he served in, his native Texas, and the many friends of all ages that he met along the way. He was an avid bird watcher and could identify many local species. Ben loved to play golf, starting out as a youngster, and was awarded an honorary lifetime membership at the Old Newbury Golf Club. With a zest for life he touched many others with his joy and smile. He was a true southern gentleman and will be sorely missed.

He is survived by two sons, Rick Collins and his wife Terri of Auburn, WA, and Scott Collins and his wife Nancy of Placitas, NM; four grandchildren, Michael Collins and his wife Melissa of Beverly, Kristin Latulippe and her husband Brian of Beverly, Ryan Collins of Brooklyn, NY, and Sandy Glenn-Collins of Calgary Alberta; three  great-grandchildren, Liam, Timmy and Ethan; his niece, Cathy Dial of Plano, TX, and his beloved cat, Maddie.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, August 9 at 3:00 pm at the First Church's Meeting House, Meetinghouse Green, Ipswich (across the street from the main sanctuary). Family and friends are respectfully welcomed. A reception will follow at 4:00 pm at the Residence at Riverbend, 149 County Rd., Ipswich, where Ben had resided. Arrangements are under the direction of the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home of Ipswich. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in his name may be made to the First Church of Ipswich, 1 Meetinghouse Green, Ipswich, MA 01938.

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