By Chris Edwards
GEORGETOWN – Jesse Collins, a longtime educator and businessman in Woodville, died in Georgetown at the age of 93 last week.
Collins, along with his late wife Georgia, were also longtime volunteers at Heritage Village, and were instrumental in getting the Spinners and Weavers’ Guild running as well as setting up the Village Buggy Barn.
Collins was born May 4, 1930, in Hemphill, and he wound up in Woodville, with his family, graduating from Kirby High School in 1947.
He returned to Woodville in 1951, after attending the University of Texas, and taught at Warren High School. He also enlisted in the Texas National Guard Corps of Engineers around that same time to serve in the Korean War, but his unit was never called up. He served in the Guard for 30 years and put in more than 40 as an educator. He taught at Spurger High School, as a math and science teacher, and several other schools in the state, and wound up retiring from education at Woodville High School.
He and Georgia opened GC Fabrics in downtown Woodville, which eventually expanded to become a JC Penney catalog store.
The two were heavily involved in the Tyler County Heritage Society and helped establish both the Fiber Arts Building and the Buggy Barn and were charter members of the Spinners and Weavers. They relocated to the Austin area in 2015, after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Georgia Collins died in 2019, and the two had been married for 62 years.
According to Stringer and Griffin of Woodville, which is in charge of Collins’s arrangements, a memorial service for both Jesse and Georgia will take place in Woodville later this year when the weather is cooler.