John Ernest “JEC” Collins, aged 97, of Malibu died Sunday Dec. 18 at his home. He was surrounded by his wife and three of his children.
John was born in June 1919 in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Alice Bertha and George Ernest Collins. At a young age, his family moved to West Los Angeles where John remained and later raised his family. He owned an independent insurance agency and served the WLA and Santa Monica area for many decades. John was also involved in commercial real estate.
He was an active member of the Santa Monica Exchange Club for many years. John enjoyed spending time in Death Valley so much that he became known as “Death Valley Jonnie.”
“JEC was a true patriot,” a loved one said. “He loved this country and always had the American flag nearby. His four years of service in the Navy during WWII proved [a] testament of his love for America.”
In his later years, whenever John went out he wore his WWII hat, which would always draw attention to him, and would lead to an adventurous sea story.
John is survived by his wife Maria, former wife Rekanui, children Ted (and wife Mary), Koa (and husband Fred), Kay, Kathy (and husband Arvid), and George; grandchildren Brian, Brandon, Justin, Sean and Chris; and his great grandchild Henry.
“Special thanks and appreciation to the Santa Monica Hospital and staff for their loving care and support,” a family member wrote to The Malibu Times.
Funeral arrangements are to be determined.