We give thanks for the life of Bill Collie (William Levinson Collie Jr.), who was born July 5, 1936, in Pecos, Texas, to the Josephine (Williams) and William L. Collie Sr. He married Charolette Watson on March 24, 1962, in Odessa. He is survived by his wife, Charolette; brother, Charles Wilson Collie and wife Pat; daughter, Molly Collie and Joe Postnikoff; sons, Morris Watson and Dana Collie and Lance Cole and Cheryl Collie; grandchildren, Kate and Garrett Irvin, Magdalyn Postnikoff, Patton and Victoria Collie, Park and Finn Collie. Also surviving is his nephew, Don Charles Collie, niece, Linda Collie Nance, their spouses Monica and Alan and children. Bill also was “Uncle Bill” to numerous Watson nieces, nephews and other extended family members.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Bill was a fifth generation Texan and a 1954 graduate of Pecos High School, home of the Fighting Pecos Eagles. He attended the University of Texas School of Engineering and later served in the U.S. Army for “two years, 11 months and nine days.”
He was a third generation rotarian and active in rotary clubs since 1961. He was president of clubs in Pecos and Odessa and a member in Austin, Harlingen and Burnet. In 1961, he took over the family commercial electrical contracting business after the death of Bill Sr. and expanded it into a dealership for Carrier AC. In 1974, he began a 31-year career with Nunn Electric Supply as a manager in Austin, Odessa and Harlingen. He retired as president of the company in 2006 and moved to Burnet.
Bill was “one-of-a-kind.” Meeting him was a memorable experience, and he could make any person feel he or she was special. He effortlessly commanded any room because he had that unique presence. Deeply Texas-proud, he loved his family passionately and was known to drive all over, even across the Red River, to watch his grandchildren participate in their activities and sports. He took great pride in his version of “Splexican” when working with banks in Mexico, although the employees there were not nearly as impressed with his command of their native tongue.
He had a generous heart and was a forever friend. Bill and Charolette enjoyed almost 40 years of friendships with the ABCS&Gs, so called by all their motley kids. He spent 45 years of special friendships in the Davis Mountains at “Deer Camp.” Known as a committed UT fan with tickets to Longhorn football, basketball and baseball, there are many photographs of him wearing burnt orange and his hand up flashing a Hook ‘Em Horns sign.
Bill leaves all who knew him with a big space that is filled with love and memories of gatherings with family and friends as the fun guy talking and laughing, with a full working box next to the oversized chair on the back porch, with lots of Western music for a backdrop of a life well lived. He was King Daddy to his children, Big Bill to his friends and simply Granddad. Vaya con dios (or some version of that — pick your favorite Bill Collie-ism!).
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Boys & Girls Club of the Highland Lakes-Burnet Unit, LaCare food bank in Burnet or Rotary Club International.
A memorial service for Bill is 11 a.m. June 20 at Clements-Wilcox Funeral Home, 306 Texas 29 East in Burnet, (512) 756-2222, officiated by the Rev. Ernest Spiekermann. To make condolences, visit www.clementswilcoxburnet.com.