Long Time EMS Official Randy Collins Passes Away On Thursday

Last Updated on August 30, 2018 8:33 pm

UPDATE Wednesday September 5 – Funeral Procession Details for Randy Collins

For those wishing to participate in the funeral procession for Randy Collins, or observe in honor from the sidelines, before and/or after the Celebration of Life at Boone United Methodist Church at 11 a.m. on Thursday Sept. 6, procession details are as follows:

Procession from Hampton’s funeral Home to Boone UMC:

The procession from Hampton’s Funeral Home will leave the funeral home for Boone UMC at 9:40 a.m. The procession order will be Watauga Rescue Ambulance, Watauga Medics ambulance, hearse, family, then all other public safety apparatus. The first two ambulances will meet in the parking lot of Hampton’s, while the remaining vehicles will stage in the Horn in the West parking lot until the procession is ready to begin. The procession route is outlined below;

  • From Hampton’s Funeral Home, travel down the hill toward 321, making a right onto 321 toward Daniel Boone Inn, turn right onto E King Street, a left onto 194 N. at Hardee’s. Turn left onto New Market Blvd. to Boone UMC on the right.
  • Upon arrival, the first two ambulances, the hearse, and the family vehicles will pull into the Boone UMC parking lot. All other public safety vehicles will park in the middle turn lane on New Market Blvd. The emergency vehicles will remain parked in the turn lane throughout the duration of the service.
  • Last Call:At the conclusion of the funeral service, Last Call will be broadcast over Watauga Rescue radio frequency.
  • Procession from Boone UMC to Appalachian State University Baseball Field: All family and public safety personnel will proceed to their vehicles. The Watauga Rescue and Watauga Medics ambulance will lead the family vehicles out of the parking lot and all other public safety vehicles will fall into line. The procession will proceed to the ASU baseball field along the following route; head southwest on new Market Blvd. Turn right onto E King St. toward downtown Boone. Turn left onto Hardin St / 321 at 
Daniel Boone Inn, traveling down Hardin St. / 321, turn right onto Rivers St. at the ASU Convocation Center. Travel Rivers St., turning left at Bodenheimer Dr. to baseball field parking lot.

A long time local EMS official passed away unexpectedly on Thursday.

Randy Collins was volunteering for the Peter Pedroni Memorial Charity Golf Tournament at Boone Golf Club when the incident occurred on the 18th hole.

Watauga Rescue released a statement Thursday evening via their Facebook page.

“We are saddened to announce the passing of Chief Randy Collins. Randy served our Rescue Squad and community for 26 years, and before serving in Watauga County, served in Stokes County. Randy was a mentor, teacher, leader, and friend to many in the rescue and EMS community and will be missed. Please keep the Collins family and the Watauga Rescue Family in your thoughts and prayers. We will be accepting cards and notes on behalf of the Collins family at our agency PO Box (PO Box 3394, Boone, NC 28607), which will be delivered to the family. Further updates regarding services will be posted as they become available. Rest easy 443, we'll take it from here.”

Funeral arrangements announced by Hampton Funeral Service:

James Randall “Randy” Collins is now umpiring on the “Field of Dreams”. Randy passed away Thursday afternoon, August 30, 2018.

Randy was born July 14, 1957 in Surry County, North Carolina, a son of Jim Collins and the late Sara Schuyler Collins.

Randy retired from teaching and touching many children’s lives at North Stokes High School, C.B. Eller Elementary, and Green Valley Elementary School in 2010.

He lettered in football, baseball, and basketball at North Stokes High School and was All-Conference in multiple sports.

He graduated with a B.S. in Health and Physical Education/Fitness at Appalachian State University and a Master of Arts in the same field at Gardner-Webb University.

He was an Elder in the Fransisco Presbyterian Church and a member of Fransisco Volunteer Fire Department, where he served as Chief and was twice named Rescue Person of the Year before moving to Watauga county.

While in Boone, he served as Chief of Watauga County Rescue for 26 years. He was also an EMT, emergency vehicle operations course instructor and a North Carolina Emergency Medical Technician examiner, and he served on the Appalachian State University Yosef Advisory Board. Randy was the official scorekeeper for Appalachian State Men’s Basketball and in charge of first aid gameday operations for the Appalachian State Football Team. He most recently volunteered for the Folds of Honor Golf Marathon at Snee Farm Country Club in Mount Pleasant, SC and was volunteering at the Peter Pedroni Memorial Golf Tournament when he passed.

Randy had two hobbies he loved, the first one was saving lives through his service at Watauga Rescue and Watauga Medics. His second was as a college baseball umpire, in which he was either behind the plate or on the bases in the Big South, Southern, South Atlantic, and Carolina conferences. His smile got even larger when “he was called up” to umpire for the Hickory Crawdads and the Asheville Tourist baseball teams.

Randy lived a life of service.

Randy is survived by his wife of 27 years, Jeannine Underdown Collins and his beloved Bella, his father, Jim Collins, his brother, Greg Collins, and wife, Susan Hathcock, and nephew, Will Collins of Fransisco, Stokes county, NC, and many special friends.

Family will receive friends from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm on Wednesday, September 5th at Hampton Funeral Service.

There will be a Celebration of Life at Boone United Methodist Church at 11:00 am on Thursday, September 6th with a gathering of friends to follow at the Appalachian State University Baseball Field, rain or shine as there is cover if needed.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Randy Collins Athletic Training Scholarship – Yosef Club,  c/o the ASU Foundation, P.O. Box 32064, Boone, NC 28608 or Watauga County Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 3394, Boone, NC 28607.

Online condolences may be sent to the Collins family at

Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service is in charge of the arrangements.

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