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Thanks for the love, Bud!

January 18, 2019

When pancreatic cancer threatened the life of Turners Falls resident Harold “Bud” Collins, he took it in stride. At age 91, Bud felt that he had lived a full and good life.

A World War II veteran and active community volunteer, with a long career in accounting, Bud had enjoyed a wonderful marriage to his wife, Helen C. Collins. After she passed, he had been lucky enough to fall in love with Helen L. Stotz, his companion for 26 years until her death.

Bud passed away this past April. His generosity carries on, thanks to his decision to make a gift from his retirement accounts in support of Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s (BFMC) mission to keep quality care local.

A gift of love and gratitude

When Bud received a Baystate Health Foundation mailing about giving opportunities, he realized he could make a difference for patient care while honoring the memory of his two Helens. He decided to make Baystate Franklin Medical Center the beneficiary of his retirement assets.

Bud found the process very easy. After talking to a Baystate Health Foundation team member, he contacted his IRA custodians who sent him an IRA beneficiary designation form. Bud completed the form – naming Baystate Franklin Medical Center, c/o Baystate Health Foundation, as the primary beneficiary of the IRAs – and mailed it back. He shared with Baystate Health Foundation that he was making this gift in loving memory of his wife and of his sweetheart, who are now honored – along with Bud – through recognition plaques on the doors of two adjacent patients’ rooms at Baystate Franklin.

“It would be just like Bud to give back. It was an honor to provide his care, and I am so glad that his name will now become a part of Baystate Franklin,” shared Rebecca Hamil, BSN, RN, one of the BFMC nurses who cared for Bud.

A life of service

When asked what he was most proud of in his life, Bud replied “My naval service.”

Bud’s World War II career took him to Iwo Jima and Okinawa. He served aboard the USS Henry A. Wiley, a destroyer minelayer, in the Pacific Theatre of Operation – ultimately attaining the rank of Radioman Second Class and receiving the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with Four Stars and World War II Victory Medal, along with other honors.

After the war, Bud returned home to graduate from Northampton Commercial College, with a degree in accounting. He moved to Washington, DC to work for the U.S. Government Printing Office from 1948 to 1955 – but returned to his beloved Turners Falls and was employed as an accounting auditor.

Bud retired from Hallmark Color Labs in 1988. Bud achieved his goal of remaining at home in Turners Falls and independent to the end of his 92 years, surrounded by his model car collection and doing his beloved crossword puzzles. Thanks to his generous gift, Bud’s rich legacy of service to his community includes high-quality care for his friends and neighbors.

His brother, Jerry Collins of Arizona, says it well: “Bud was so thankful for the wonderful care he and his loved ones received. He wanted to give back to this community and help others.”

Learn more about how you can make a difference with a planned gift.