Rita Collins, wife of the late Nevada Supreme Court Justice Jon Collins, passed away on August 14, 2018 at her Las Vegas home surrounded by family and friends.
Rita was born on July 21, 1920 in Dumbarton, Scotland. She is survived by her daughters, Pamela Collins, Candace Collins Olson (son-in-law, James Olson), Jona Wallace, Melissa Collins and Kelly Collins; grandchildren: Amanda Dibble, Alycia Olson, Ashley Olson, Thomas Wallace and Marion Wallace; great-grandchildren: Regan Dibble, Addison Dibble, Trinity Wallace, Cadence Wallace, Gabriel Wallace, Castel Wallace and Dahlia Wallace.
Rita immigrated to the United States with her parents, William and Elizabeth Baird, in 1923. They settled in Detroit, Michigan where Rita attended Wayne State University and received her degree in 1942. While at Wayne State she served as Secretary of the Yearbook.
At the outbreak of WWII, Rita joined the Foreign Service and was stationed in Cairo, Egypt for the duration of the war. She then moved to Washington, D.C. where she worked for the Democratic National Committee (DNC). While in D.C., she met law student and Capitol policeman, Jon Collins. They married and while Jon was finishing law school at Georgetown, Rita moved to Ely, Nevada to set up his law practice. She worked as the office manager and secretary.
Rita resided in Ely with Jon and their growing family until Jon was appointed to the Nevada Supreme Court in 1966, when the family moved to Reno, Nevada. In 1971, Rita and Jon moved to Las Vegas when Jon was made partner in the law firm Lionel, Sawyer & Collins.
Rita was active in many charitable organizations, especially The Home of the Good Shepard. She was also active in Democrat politics throughout her life including, working for President Truman’s Administration, the DNC and serving as assemblywoman for White Pine County.
In Rita’s free time, she loved to play Bridge and played regularly. She also had a great love of travel, which spanned her entire lifetime, taking her to every continent except Antarctica.
Above all, Rita will be remembered as a loving wife and mother and true and loyal friend.
Rita will be buried in Ely with her husband, mother and grandmother. In lieu of flowers a donation to the American Red Cross will be appreciated.