James David Collier, Sr., OD
James David Collier, Sr., OD, of Newport, Ark., departed this life on Thursday, December 15, 2016, at the age of 91. He was born February 28, 1925, in Rector, Ark., the son of Verlie and Marie Collier.
Dr. Collier graduated from Rector High School in 1943, and immediately joined the U.S. Navy. He served aboard the USS Bennington, CV-20, during World War II in the Pacific Theater. After the war, he attended Arkansas State University, then Arkansas State College, transferring to the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis. Following graduation with a Doctor of Optometry degree, he started an optometric practice in Newport on Dec. 5, 1949. He continued until his retirement in April of 1997.
After retiring, Dr. Collier returned to a favorite sport he had given up some 15 earlier, golf. His home course was Village Creek Golf Club, where he served as a board member five years, as vice-president and on the tournament committee. In 1990, he won the ove-70 age group club championship.
Dr. Collier was a member of Sigma Alpha Sigma honor society of SCO, Beta Sigma Kappa International Honorary Fraternity and a life member of the American Optometric Association. He was also a member of the Newport Lions Club since 1956, having served as President in 1984-85. Dr. Collier was Arkansas Lion of the Year in sight conservation in 1982-83, the Club Lion of the Year in 1990-91. In 1993-94, he was presented the Melvin Jones Fellow of dedicated humanitarian services by Lions Club International Foundation.
Dr. Collier was a member of the First Baptist Church, where he served in various capacities of the years including, a Deacon, Sunday school director, Sunday school and training union teacher, RA leader, trustee and was also on several committees.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Laura Jane (Henson) Collier of Newport; one daughter, Suzette Porter and husband, Terre, of Clearwater, Fla.; one son, James David Collier, Jr., of Charlotte, N.C.; two grandsons, David and Jonathan of Charlotte, N.C.; a great-grandson, Blake Collier; one brother, Donald Collier and wife, Doris, of O'Fallon, Mo.; one sister, Carolyn Womble and husband, Charles, of Eureka Springs, Ark. and a lifetime of friends.
Dr. Collier wishes to say "Goodbye" to all his friends and former patients. "I hope I have enabled them to see life a little clearer, whether it be visually or otherwise."
Friends visited at the funeral home on Tuesday evening, Dec. 20. Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21, at Jackson's Newport Funeral Home Chapel with interment following in Walnut Grove Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church, 217 Main Street, Newport, Ark., 72112; the Arkansas Baptist Children's Home, 222 West Pope Avenue, Monticello, Ark., 71655, or Gideon's International at www.gideons.org
To light a memorial candle, leave a message of condolence, or sign the guest register please visit www.jacksonsfh.com
Arrangements by Jackson's Newport Funeral Home.