Thomas W. Collins passed away on Feb. 11, 2013, at his home in Diamond Willow in Baxter, Minn. He was born Nov. 4, 1926, to William and Marie (Egan) Collins in Lewiston, Mont. He was known for his love of hunting, fishing and cracking a joke. Tom served in the Navy before and during the Korean conflict. Tom and his wife Mary owned and operated Collins Cafe in Walker for many years out of which he catered his famous wild game dinners. He served many local residents as well as heads of state including vice presidents and English Lords. He “Roasted the Bears,” catered for the Washington Redskins at the Capitol Hill Club, and Manitoba Wildlife Association in Winnipeg, capped off with the Winnipeg Police bagpipe band. His recipes are memorialized in his cook book — “Collins’ Backroom Cooking Secrets” — which sold out of several printings.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary (Tracy); his brothers, James and Harold; and his sister, Delores. He is survived by his daughter, Kathy Buxton (Bruce); sons, William and Charles; grandsons, Jeffrey Buxton (Mindy) and Scott Buxton (Gretchen); five great-grandchildren; his sister, Corrine Stein (Joe); and brothers, Louie (Carol) and Phillip.
A family service will be held at a later date. Memorials directed to the Pink Ribbon Cupboard at Essentia Health Foundation are preferred.