Della Lancelet Joynes Collins

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 9, 2004

&uot;Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit that they may rest from their labor; and their works do follow them.&uot;

Della Lancelet Joynes Collins lived life in service to others, embodying Christ’s love for all people. Her greatest joy and fulfillment came from supporting her family, friends, and neighbors. Even during her transition from the physical to the spiritual, her primary concern was for the well being of her family. Realizing that everything was well, she answered God’s call on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2004 to return home.

Della was born on November 28, 1906 in Townsend, Va. to the late George Henry and Jennie Marie Joynes. Her formative years were spent in Fairview, where she attended Fairview School and Tidewater Institute. She decided to further her education at Virginia State College by majoring in Home Economics. She also attended a summer session at Hampton Institute. During her college years, she met Abel T. Collins and consented to marry him on November 29, 1929. To their union, Bessie Marqueener, Alvin Henry, Sarah Louise, and Della Zenobia were born.

Email newsletter signup

She was a faithful member of New Allen Memorial AME Church for more than 73 years and served on Stewardess Board #1 and the Missionary Society. She was also a member of the Eastern Stars and the Tents. Della cherished participating in regional national conferences. As a highly respected person within her community, she personally ensured that people were registered to vote and were referred to the appropriate institutions that could assist them with their concerns.

Della’s love of children and exceptional communication skills allowed her to become a beloved teacher for primary students. She also taught adult literacy classes. Her husband’s work as a farmer allowed her to assist him in maintaining and operating a successful farm. Her love of cooking provided her with the opportunity to serve as a prep cook at the America House. Della always found ways to keep busy and stay young; it was no wonder that her next job would be as a chaperone for Youth Services at Fort Meade, Maryland. However, providing love and care for infants and toddlers of Lake Forest working parents marked her final retirement.

Left to cherish the memories of Della Lancelet Joynes Collins are: two daughters, Sarah Louise Copeland, and Della Zenobia Gillis; three son-in-laws Grover Dotson Sr., Howard Copeland, Paul C. Gillis; one sister, Alston J. Godwin; nine grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and neighbors. She was preceded in death by her parents George Henry and Jennie Marie Joynes; her husband Abel Thomas Collins, daughter Bessie Marqueener Collins Dotson and son Alvin Henry Collins.

Funeral services for Mrs. Della Joynes Collins will be conducted Saturday, September 11, 2004 at 2 p.m. from New Allen Memorial A.M.E. church in Franktown on the Eastern Shore with Rev. Chester Morris officiating.

Interment will be in the church cemetery in Franktown. Family and friends will meet at the Wherry Funeral Home, 540 East Constance Road in Suffolk on Thursday, September 9, 2004 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Family and friends will also meet from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, September 10, 2004 at Gray’s Funeral Home, 625 Madison Ave. in Cape Charles on the Eastern Shore. Arrangements are being handled by Gray’s Funeral Home in Cape Charles.