Virginia Collins Obituary (2018) – Oakland, CA

Virginia MacMillan Collins

June 16,1943-March 5, 2018

Ginny Collins was the middle child of a Methodist minister, and her family moved frequently during their childhood. When she entered Ursinus College, in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, she could finally join a class new as any other freshman. She excelled in college and played on the varsity badminton and field hockey teams. After graduation, she went to Israel in 1967 to free up kibbutz workers to defense teams (she gained a lifelong antipathy towards eggplants). Then she traveled in Europe before settling in Berkeley and later Oakland.
Ginny was one of the early workers at Taxi Unlimited, a collective. She drove cab for years and was often requested by riders who knew she could be depended upon to give an honest answer about policy questions of all types. After Taxi, she became a plumber, joining longtime women’s trade advocate Naomi Friedman in her plumbing business. She retired from plumbing after an accident.
Above all, Ginny was fearless and passionate. Her passions included her friends, to whom she was utterly loyal; her animals, Roger and Louie; the San Francisco Giants (though she resented being priced out after enduring many years at Candlestick); the 49ers; and underdogs of all stripes. She was a mean ragtime pianist, enjoyed singing songs of the ’30s and ’40s, and played second base for the East Bay Blues, a hapless but happy softball team in the Oakland Rec League.
She is survived by her relatives including her two brothers, Price and Stephen Collins, and by her many friends who will miss her constancy, dry wit and incisive, broad range thinking. Donations in her name can be made to Girls Inc. of Alameda County.

Published by San Francisco Chronicle from Mar. 16 to Mar. 18, 2018.


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