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Obituaries

June 05, 2008

Andy Collins

Stewart “Andy” Collins passed away in March. He grew up in Havertown, Pa., and moved to California to work at Jet Propulsion Laboratory immediately after his graduation from Principia College. This was the fulfillment of his boyhood dream to be a planetary scientist.

One highlight of his professional career was the Voyager mission. From its inception he was involved with the imaging system which produced excellent photographs of scientific importance. He retired from JPL over a year ago after nearly 38 fulfilling years of enthusiastic labor and love, marked by a keen appreciation of his colleagues.

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Andy Collins was a man who placed high value on marriage and family. His home was where his best friends lived, and it was the focal point of his affections. He taught his children to be self-reliant, generous, honest and caring. He eagerly shared his passion for the natural world. He loved the mountains, sea and sky, and outdoor family adventures. (And his must be the most complete collection of National Geographics in town!)

Much of Andy’s volunteeer work in the community reflected his love for youth and his natural teaching instincts. He taught Sunday School (among other things) as a devoted member of the Church of Christ, Scientist, in Montrose. His five children attended La Cañada schools. For a total of 27 years Andy happily attended countless back-to-school nights, open houses, fairs, performances, concerts and sporting events. Early on he served on the La Cañada Educational Foundation board, giving generously of his time and enthusiasm. He enjoyed many opportunities to educate people of all ages in space science, feeding their curiosity and joy in learning.

As a boy Andy loved scouting. For many years he was on the JPL Boy Scout Troop 509 committee, and served for a time as scoutmaster. He believed firmly in nurturing the boys’ discovery of their own leadership capabilities, and was willing to pay the price of a little chaos, if need be, to allow them to learn through their own experience. He thoroughly appreciated each boy’s merits, taught the importance of wilderness skills, and encouraged a passion for adventure.

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