In Memory

Helen A. Collins (Teacher)

Helen A. Collins (Teacher)

Mrs. Helen A. Collins, 74, of 314 East Main St. died at 3:25 p.m. Friday (March 19, 1982) at Genesee Memorial Hospital following a long illness.

Mrs. Collins, former head of the Batavia High School Language Department, was born Dec. 25, 1907 in Elmira, the daughter of the late Selaer and Jane Lynn Ayers. She had resided in Batavia since 1940.

A graduate of Elmira College, Mrs. Collins also studied at Laval University in Quebec and the Sorbonne in Paris. She retired in 1970 after teaching for 25 years.

Mrs. Collins was a member of St. James Church, the Conversation Class and was a former Childrens' Home board member. She also was a member of the National Society of Daughters of Founders and Patriots, the Daughters of the American Revolution, Daughters of American Colonists, the Huguenot Society, National Society of United States Daughters of 1812, National Society of New England Women, Daughters of Colonial Wars and National Society of Colonial Dames XVII Century.

Survivors include her husband, William H. Collins, retired Genesee Community College dean of business affairs; a daughter, Dr. H. Lynne Collins of Colombus, O; a brother, Selaer E. Ayers of Elmira, and a sister, Mrs. Henry Cook of Chenango Forks.

Friends may call from 7 to 9 p.m. today and from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday at the H.E. Turner Inc. Mortuary. Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at St. James Church. There will be a graveside service at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Hudson View Cemetery in Mechanicsville.

Memorial may be made to Genesee Community College Scholarship Fund or a charity of the donor's choice.

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01/15/15 08:02 PM #1    

Joan Kellogg (Oliverio)

Another one of my favorite teachers.  She was great and I loved her class.  She always brought new ideas and new ways to learn french. I still have a copy of the record she used to play for us. Soeur Sourire, the Singing Nun and probably the best song  Dominique.  I also enjoyed the issues of Paris Match she brought to class as well. She was  another of the very fine teachers at Batavia High.  We were very blessed to have such educators at our school.

01/16/15 09:45 AM #2    

David A Scribner

Mrs. Collins exuded excellence and class.  She brought out the best in us.  I particularly appreciated the fact that she not only taught the language but she also taught about the country and the culture as well.  As a result of being in her classes for three years I was able to teach French labs my Senior year in college, a great experience.  When my wife and I visited Paris, I was moved by the beauty of Notre Dame Cathedral and other historic sites.  It brought back memories of Mrs. Collins and her classes. 













01/19/15 09:10 PM #3    

Robert Klein

I liked Mrs. Collins. She was not a great teacher.but she spoke French well,was not intimidating (rare for a language teacher);and seemed towantus to learn French( she took personal pleasure in our small successes and did not convert our petites faux pas's into les grandes tragedies). Inthe mid1980s I rode my bike from Paris to Nantesand back along the Seine.through dozens of non-English speaking small towns with nothing but my bike,my water bottle and Mrs.Collins 'French. Ihad the time of my life.the people in thesmall towns were grateful an American had made the effort to learn French and didn't givea damn I could neither speak the language nor understand them.I even picked up a girl for dinner once,my crowning acheivement God Bless you Mrs. Collinsyou would havebeen both embarrassed and proud.Dinner conversation was a combination of French and charades.  If only there were were email then We could have kept in touch.

01/20/15 11:01 AM #4    

David A Scribner

Monsieur Klein, vous avez raison! (You are right - I believe).  Mrs. Collins did celebrate our small victories.  Loved your story about traveling through France.  My experience was similar.  My son-in-law played four years of pro basketball in France (Bordeaux, Avignon, Nice, and Vichy).  We went over to see him and my daughter twice.  When we tried our French in the small towns people were very receptive.  I even got a compliment on my accent (thanks Mrs. Collins).  I did not do as well in picking up what the French people were saying, but my wife was very good at this, so we were a good team.  Mrs. Collins, thanks again for your patience and your influence.  You made France seem like a charming place full of culture and history and it was my experience that all of that is true.

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