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Former Councilwoman Collins remembered as vital to Oakwood
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Martha Jane Collins

Martha Collins, who died Tuesday, was the backbone of Oakwood, longtime Mayor Lamar Scroggs said.

Scroggs has known the Collins family for decades.

“That family ... they were Oakwood, they are Oakwood,” he said.

The 75-year-old woman served on the Oakwood City Council for 15 years, even when her health was deteriorating.

“Her health had gotten so bad the last few years, couldn’t hardly come and participate, but she did anyway. That was the family. That’s what they’re about,” Scroggs said.

Collins retired in December 2015.

She also enjoyed painting, and a few of her pieces can be found on the walls of Oakwood City Hall.

“My father passed away in a barn off Stephens Road, and she drew a picture of the barn and painted it,” Scroggs said.

Scroggs also mentioned a small general store and laundromat that the family owned and operated for years.

“They knew everybody and knew their needs,” Scroggs said. “That family would help people and meant so much to the people that needed help.”

Even those who didn’t need help were offered it.

Sheri Millwood, a current Oakwood City Council member, called Collins a few years back the day after Thanksgiving.

“In our conversation, I mentioned that we had not eaten turkey and dressing at any of the family gatherings my husband and I had attended,” Millwood said. “She wanted us to come over right then for leftovers. She just didn’t think it was right not to have turkey and dressing on Thanksgiving.”

Collins was a very important part of the community and the kindest lady, Millwood said.

“She always wanted you to come by to visit,” she said.

Collins was born in Cleveland and was a member of the First Baptist Church of Oakwood.

In addition to her parents, Collins was preceded in death by her husband, Levin James “Jimmy” Collins. Millwood and Scroggs also knew Jimmy.

Millwood met the Collins family when she began serving on the Oakwood Planning Commission. “She and her husband gave many years of service to the city they loved. I was blessed to have known them both,” Millwood said.

The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church of Oakwood. Interment will follow at Mount Pleasant Methodist Church Cemetery in Cleveland.  

The family will receive friends at Little & Davenport Funeral Home in Gainesville from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Friday.