Former ECH Nursing Director Dies

By on April 23, 2014


Patricia Collins

Patricia Collins

Patricia Gehr Collins, 83, went to be with her Lord and Savior Saturday, April 19, 2014, at Ephrata Manor, while under Hospice Care.
Born in Ephrata, she was the daughter of the late Samuel H. and Ruth (Witmyer) Gehr. She was the wife of the late Donald Joseph Collins who passed away in 1999 after 44 years of marriage and 1st Lt. J. Frederick Frock, husband of 8 months, who was killed in the Korean War in 1953.
Patricia was a graduate of the Lancaster General Hospital School of Nursing and Penn State University, later serving in the US Army Nurse Corps. After returning home from the Army she worked for 27 years at the Ephrata Community Hospital, ending her employment as the Director of Nursing. Pat then finished her nursing career at the Veteran Affairs Hospital in Lebanon as the night supervisor, retiring in 1996 after 13 years.
Patricia loved God and her family and took pleasure in the simple things in life. She was a member of the St. John Center Lutheran Church, where she taught the adult Sunday School class, served on the church council, sang in the choir, and was a member of the Women’s Group. She enjoyed volunteering for Meals on Wheels and Luther Acres, going to the cabin with her daughter, spending time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren, watching Penn State football, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Philadelphia Phillies.
She will be deeply missed by her sons: Donald Jay Collins, companion of Jolyn Bitner of Akron, Ronald R., husband of Debra (Carter) Collins of Leesburg, Ga., James R., husband of Cathy (Bowman) Collins of Coudersport, a daughter: Patricia A. Collins, companion of Joni Garber of Ephrata; six grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; a sister: Vesta, wife of Lloyd Weaver of Ephrata; a brother: Samuel H., Jr., husband of Joanne (Beam) Gehr of Wellsboro; and numerous nephews and nieces.
In addition to her husbands and parents, she is preceded in death by a sister: Paulette Gehr.
The family wishes to extend their appreciation to the staff at Ephrata Manor and the staff at Hospice for the loving care given to their mother.
A viewing will take place on Friday, April 25, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Stradling Funeral Home, 201 Church Ave., Ephrata. An additional viewing will be held on Saturday, April 26, from 12 to 1 p.m., at St. John Center Lutheran Church, 599 Reading Road, East Earl, followed by her funeral service at 1 p.m., at the church with Rev. Glenn Beard officiating. Interment will take place in the Bergstrasse Cemetery, with military honors accorded by the Red Rose Veterans Honor Guard.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Patricia’s memory to Ephrata Manor Benevolent Fund, 99 Bethany Road, Ephrata, PA 17522 or to Hospice & Community Care, 685 Good Drive, Box 4125, Lancaster, PA 17604.
Arrangements by Stradling Funeral Homes, Inc., Akron/Ephrata. Online condolences can be given at

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