Albina “Bina” C. Collins passed away at her home on May 18, 2023.
Bina was born on April 23, 1928, in Whitehall, to Albino and Florence Crottogini. She was raised and went to school in Whitehall, where she also met her future husband, Ray Collins. Bina attended MSU Bozeman for two years, was a member of AOPi sorority, then married and immediately moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where Ray completed his education. She later completed her degree in Education at MSUB (EMC) and spent 20 years as a librarian for School District #2. The family lived in Bridger and Big Timber moving to Billings in 1966, lived on Patricia Lane and had a beautiful garden for over 50 years. Bina moved to Mission Ridge in 2017 and loved being there with all the wonderful activities, including being the master puzzler, a Wii bowler with a high score over 200 and making some pocket change playing killer pinochle. She was an avid Bobcats Fan and is in fact survived by a family of 99% Bobcats and one lonely Griz.
Bina cherished her church family at St. Stephens, where she attended for years and was deeply involved in many groups and church organizations. She was also very proud to use her training to organize the church library. Bina served as secretary of Delta Kappa Gamma Teacher’s sorority. Before her library career, Bina worked for Dr. Foeste, both in Bridger and Billings, becoming very close with the entire family.
Bina’s great love was for her family. She thrived being a wife to Ray; a mother to her daughters Carol Clapper (Doug) and Kay Loundagin (Gordon); a proud grandmother to six grandkids and an amazed great-gramma to six (and counting) great-grandkids. Also, relatives: Susan, Lori, Kurt, Kolynn, Kent and Gary and their families. She is preceded in passing by her parents, husband, sister Florence Solari (Maurice) and nephew Bob Solari.
Bina was a marvelous cook and her Italian heritage meant meals were an “event” for family and friends. There was always enough for one more and you would learn that spaghetti could be a side dish. She was a meticulous housekeeper and wore out more brooms than we will ever own. She could also spend hours working in her garden both at home and in “her” roses at Mission Ridge. She tended her friendships with care and positivity. Her loving presence will be missed by countless family and friends.
The memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Friday, May 26, at St. Stephen’s Church, 1241 Crawford Drive. Services will be livestreamed at https://www.facebook.com/ststephensbillings.
Family and friends are welcome to share memorials to the Erma Lessel Award Scholarship, Montana State University Alumni Foundation, PO Box 172750, Bozeman, MT 59717; or St. Stephen’s Church, 1241 Crawford Drive, Billings, MT 59102.
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