John Collins, 75

Published 10:34 am Monday, February 27, 2023

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John Collins, age 75, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, formerly of Waynesburg, KY passed away Tuesday, February 7, 2023, in Fort Lauderdale. Born October 2, 1947, in Waynesburg Kentucky, he was the son of the late Reuben Collins and Mildred Collins Kirby. Along with his parents, John was preceded in death by his two brothers Paul Collins and Dale Collins. He is survived by his wife Suzan Collins. In addition to his wife, John leaves behind two daughters, Kristie Rivers and her husband Michael and Cara Barthelette and her husband Greg of Boca Raton, Florida. He also leaves behind two grandsons, Noah Rivers (15) and Jackson Rivers (14), and two granddaughters Noelle Barthelette (12) and Eva Barthelette (8). He is also survived by his brother Irvin Collins of Waynesburg, and sisters Kay Hensley of Stanford and Ann Belcher of Waynesburg. John grew up in Waynesburg, KY and graduated from Stanford High School in 1965. He attended University of Kentucky before being drafted into the military and serving as a criminal investigator for the US Army. He then served as an undercover police detective for the Lexington police department. He moved to South Florida in 1979 where he became involved in the construction industry. With much hard work, he eventually founded and became the co-president of Gulf Building Corporation in 1991, a prominent construction company in Fort Lauderdale, where he built both residential and large commercial properties throughout Florida. John was also a prominent member of the South Florida community. He was appointed in 2001 by then-Governor Jeb Bush to the North Broward Hospital District Board of Commissioners, where he eventually became the Chairman of the Board. He was also an appointed member of the board of the Florida Residential Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association/Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. John was also very involved in politics and became a notable figure in the campaign for former President George W. Bush. He was named one of the top fundraisers in the Bush-Cheney campaigns in 2000 and 2004 and received presidential recognition for his efforts. When John retired from the construction business in 2010, he split his time between his second home in Durban, South Africa and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In his free time, John enjoyed hunting, NASCAR, and spending time with his grandchildren. A Public Visitation will be held 10am-12pm, Saturday March 4, 2023, at Barnett, Demrow and Friend funeral home in Waynesburg, KY followed by a memorial service at 12pm. Rev. Aaron Hogue will officiate the service. Following cremation, John will be buried at Double Springs Cemetery. Barnett, Demrow & Friend Funeral Home, Waynesburg, Kentucky, is entrusted with John’s arrangements. Guest Book at

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