Elaine June (Malcolm) Collins

Elaine June (Malcolm) Collins – A Life Lived Well

“Well Done Good and Faithful Servant” Matt 25:21

Beloved daughter, wife, mother, sister and friend Elaine June Collins, 81, entered into the joy of her Savior and King on November 17, 2012 at the Prairie Senior Cottages in Isanti.

Elaine was born June 2, 1931 to Alvin and Irene Malcolm of Inver Grove Heights, Minne. The second child and first daughter of three siblings, Elaine graduated from South St. Paul High school in 1948. She worked briefly as a secretary before entering Bethel College and subsequently Macalester College, graduating in 1953 with a Bachelors of Art in Education.

Elaine’s servant heart was evident even in her early years, as she became involved with the Navigators ministry at Macalester College. As a house leader, Elaine mentored many young women, training them to become leaders in the Navigator ministry of building disciples and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Navigators also provided the context for Elaine to meet and eventually marry in June of 1958, her future husband Virgel Collins, who was also a Navigator leader.

In her professional life, Elaine was a role model to students and fellow teachers alike. Elaine’s first teaching experience in Hopkins, Minn. provided the foundation for a lifetime of public service in the education field. Elaine was known for her dedication, thoroughness, and professionalism throughout her educational career. After moving to Cambridge Minnesota in 1961, Elaine and her husband started a teaching legacy that would span well over 35 years. Elaine believed her profession was a way to give back to her community by providing a positive influence in the lives of her many students. Even after retirement Elaine continued to give back by serving as a Bethel University senior teacher supervisor in the student teaching program.

Elaine lived her life with a focus on others. She took seriously Jesus’ call to store up treasures in heaven by investing in others. Whether it be discipling young Christian women in a Navigator women’s home, pouring her heart and energies into her public school students, or serving in a variety of volunteer positions at First Baptist, Elaine was always the shining example of responsible, selfless service to her family, friends, and community.

She was preceded in death by her parents and is survived by her loving husband Virgel, of 56 years; her son Peter (Cheryl), daughter Kim (Todd) Nelson; 8 grandchildren, Lydia, Rachel, Hannah, Mary, Esther, Cora, Isaiah, Nola; brother Robert (Kari) Malcolm, sister Kathy (Malvin) VanSchooten; as well as many other relatives and friends.  Elaine will be deeply missed by all who knew her.

A Memorial Service will be held at 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at First Baptist Church in Cambridge with Rev. Bob Jonsson, Rev. Robert Malcolm and Rev. Earl Lassen officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Music will be provided by Claudia Hardy, Esther and Mary Collins, Cora and Nola Nelson. A private interment service will be held graveside at the Cambridge Union Cemetery. Memorials are preferred. Arrangements are with the Carlson-Lillemoen Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Cambridge.