Columbus Joseph Collins, Jr. was born in McConchie, MD, July 18, 1940, to the late Columbus J. Collins, Sr. and the late Catherine Farmer. Columbus was a member of St. Catherine's Catholic Church in Port Tobacco, MD.
Those who knew Columbus affectionately called him by many names—Jr., CJ, Joe, Collins, “J”, Daddy, Pop–Pop, Pop, Uncle Collins, and Mr. CJ. These names gave context to the relationships he had with family, friends, and neighbors.
He joined the United States Army and was honorably discharged April 24, 1966. He was employed by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) in Washington, DC, May 5, 1970. He spent most of his time in the 5th District Precinct. He proudly served as one of MPD’s finest for 20 years. The many friends he made on the department were a constant source of happiness.
In 1978, he married his sweet Betty, “Young”, as he would often call her. Living in Silver Spring, MD for 41 years, the two enjoyed watching Redskins football games and hosting small dinners and picnics. Collins loved to cook, bake, and grill. Everyone had their favorite Collins dish—macaroni and cheese, stuffing, chocolate chip cookies, cheesecake, pound cake, fried fish, or ribs.
Collins was really good at many things that ultimately became hobbies. He loved getting up early in the morning to go fishing. Whether he caught one fish or twenty-one fish, it was a great day. He spent hours playing cards. While this was a low-key pastime with his in-laws, his skills were tested when his fellow police officers would gather for a serious game of Bid Whist. Collins also loved his garden, and it was one to be rivaled by no other. He was so proud of his produce and generously shared it with family and friends.
After retiring, Collins found great satisfaction in a myriad of things. He continued to cook, bake, cultivate his garden, and play cards. He would get up early to read the newspaper and set-up his plan for the day. It might include calling his sister, Creola “Babysis,” heading to the grocery store to pick up ingredients for a delicious dish, visiting his brother in-law, Billy, at the lot, baking cheesecakes or taking a long motorcycle ride to visit family and friends.
Riding his Harley Davidson was probably one of his most enjoyable activities. Twisting and turning over the highways and down through “the bottom,” simply made him feel good.
He also looked forward to getting his hair cut. He had a personal barber, his granddaughter, LaToya. He would say, “Toya, don’t cut my hair too short.” She would reply, “Pop, I got this.” When she handed him the mirror, his comment was always the same, “Toya, you cut it too short.”
His impact on family, neighbors, and friends has created memories we will cherish forever. Columbus J. Collins, Jr. departed this life peacefully on August 29, 2019, at Angels Garden Assisted Living in Rockville, MD. He leaves to cherish his memory his beloved wife of 41 years, Betty; four children—Tracey Collins, Vincent Strothers, Gwendolyn M. Stoner; and Katerra Caple; two sisters , Creola Mock and Catherine Ann Collins; a brother, William Collins; five sisters in-law, Georgia, Mary Jane, and Sarah Collins, Juanita Braxton (William “Billy”), Victoria Young–Selvey (Michael); one brother in-law, Leon Young (Michelle); two Goddaughters, Kinta Jones (Joey) and Tonja Braxton; six grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and a host of other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his sister, Hilda Tillery; two brothers, Phillip and Thomas Collins; and a granddaughter, Tiara Caple.