Lawrence Emery Collins (Larry) was born in Fayette Co., PA on August 16, 1937, the son of John and Juanita Collins. He passed away peacefully on May 15, 2023, his final days surrounded by his adoring family. Larry is survived by his loving and devoted wife of fifty-six years, Claudia; their children Lee (wife Susie), Brett (wife Jeanine), and Kristin (husband Dylan); their grandchildren Emery, Micheline, Chloe, and Ruari; his sister Doris and brother Joe; as well as many wonderful nephews, nieces, cousins, and friendships too numerous to count.
Larry left rural Pennsylvania and settled in Baltimore, MD, where he began his forty-year career with the B&O Railroad. During that time, he also served in the U.S. Army. Larry and Claudia settled in Forest Hill, MD, where they resided for twenty years. Larry recognized the positive effect that sports could provide for young people and was a constant and guiding presence in the area sports community. He established the Forest Hill Soccer League, was instrumental in the creation of the Forest Hill Sports Complex, and volunteered as league commissioner and team coach for youth baseball, basketball, and soccer for many years. When Forest Hill did not offer a girls travel soccer team, Larry petitioned to have one created. When no one volunteered to be coach, he offered to do so despite not having a child on the team. He continued to coach that team for several years because it was important to him that young girls were afforded the same opportunities as his sons.
In 1989, Larry and Claudia moved to Felton, PA after acquiring an historic, but dilapidated, stone house and property. They lovingly and painstakingly restored their home, which became a focal spot for celebrations large and small. All who visited were greeted with open arms, treated as family, and often subjected to a poorly told joke. Larry’s jokes were as corny as his heart was big, and he rarely made it to the punchline before succumbing to laughter.
Larry embraced hard work and relished the simple things in life – sitting on the porch with Claudia and watching the sunset, driving through the countryside, taking daily walks along the creek with his four-legged companions, or sitting down with a book. Larry was a frequent visitor to the public library and a voracious reader, often finishing multiple books a week. Larry was a friend to many and also believed in performing random acts of kindness, whether it be picking up hitchhikers, stopping to assist motorists having vehicle problems, or giving money to someone in need. He was also a fervent and often irrational Pittsburgh Steelers fan.
Larry’s greatest love, though, was his family. He was a caring and supportive husband to Claudia, a wonderful patriarch and mentor to his children, and a tireless supporter and doting Pop Pop to his beloved grandchildren. He will be missed dearly, but with the support of family and friends, and the durability of memory, Larry’s presence will continue for many years to come.
In lieu of flowers, the family would love for those who wish to honor Larry’s memory to simply spend time doing something he embraced – make time for your family, immerse yourself in nature, or help someone in need. If you’re moved to show your support financially, please donate to Soccer Without Borders (www.soccerwithoutborders.org/ways-to-give).
Gladfelter Funeral Home, Inc. is entrusted with the arrangements.
Lawrence Emery Collins (Larry)
August 16, 1937 - May 15, 2023