Mark Craig Collins, age 52, of Broadus passed away on Thursday, April 3, 2014 at his home in Broadus after a courageous battle with cancer with his family by his side.
Mark was born November 18, 1961 in Miles City Montana to Larry and Sharon Hagadone Collins. He grew up on the family ranch and attended grade and high school in Broadus, graduating in 1980. Following graduation he and friend Jim Taylor went to Washington State and California “Looking for Work”. They did not find work, but had a great experience and returned to Montana. Mark then found work for a short time with a construction company in Gillette, WY. He found a better paying job with a “Work over Rig” and worked there until winter, when he came back to the ranch. In the spring of 1981 he wanted to try “fishing in Alaska”. He went to Seattle, Washington where he went on the piers talking to the fishermen and trying to find a job. Mark‘s persistence paid off and he found a guy willing to take him on. Mark flew to Dillingham, AK then took a charter taxi to Clark’s Point, AK in the Bristol Bay area, where he met up with his boss and boat. This was an 18ft fishing boat with a cabin. One of Mark’s duties was cooking! This arrangement only lasted a few weeks and the two parted ways. The Clark brothers (Clark’s Point – named for the family) had a little bigger boat and took Mark in to finish out the season fishing for halibut and salmon. It was hard work. Mark enjoyed the teammates, but said he “fed the fishes” every time they went back out to sea after being on shore a short while. Mark returned to the ranch in late August of 1981. He complained of back pain and after months of trying to find the cause, he was diagnosed with a spinal tumor. He had surgery and radiation and had a good recovery. He went to college for a few months and was planning to go into Law Enforcement, when a reoccurrence of cancer changed the plans. This time it was a brain tumor. He had more radiation, and a strong dose of chemotherapy. It helped for 32 years, until a new tumor developed last fall.
Mark enjoyed travel and seeing new country. In spring of 1983, he went with two friends to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, LA. He later went on several trips with his parents to Georgia to visit Kurt and family, he was able to go to Branson, Missouri and on two cruises to Alaska and to Panama Canal. Mark loved the ranch and made the best of his lot. He often said, ”Man we have it good.” He liked sitting on the deck in the sunshine petting his dogs and just looking at the scenery. When the weather kept him inside he liked to watch “Walker Texas Ranger” on TV and play games on the Wii. He had “pro” status in golf and bowling. His “Big Event “each year was his Birthday Poker Party. He was frequently at the pay window. He loved having a host of friends come and visit, as well as play. Mark was a hard worker and loved to do what he could to help wherever he could. He kept the lawn cut with the riding mower, he liked moving cattle on his 4-wheeler and especially loved helping his friend Tom Riggs work cattle. Mark and his two dogs on the 4-wheeler were a familiar sight as they checked the water pipeline daily. He was very proud of his Brother Kurt and wife Julie, and their girls Madison and Sage. He got a lot of enjoyment going to the school events to watch the girls.
Mark is survived by his parents, Larry and Sharon Collins of the family ranch, His brother Kurt and Julie (Maner) Collins, nieces: Madison and Sage Collins all of Broadus, numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, April 10, 2014 at Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home in Broadus with family receiving friends from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Funeral service will be held on Friday, April 11, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at the Faith Bible Church in Broadus. Interment will be held at a later date. Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home of Broadus is in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting: www.stevensonandsons.com.
Should friends desire, memorials may be made to the Broadus Cancer Fund, P.O. Box 629, Broadus, MT 59317.