Alex Marvin Collier was born June 13, 1931 at Millstone in Letcher County, Kentucky to Thomas and Louisa (Profitt) Collier.
He grew up in Letcher County until the age of 18 when he left to serve in the U.S. Army on October 4, 1949 and was sent to serve in Taegu (now Daegu), South Korea during the Korean War. He was on guard duty in a foxhole on December 23, 1950 when his commanding officer called out his name and told him he was going home. He knew his Mother's prayers had been answered. He was 'Honorably Discharged' on January 23, 1951 from active duty and returned home from the war. He served in the Reserves until January 22, 1956.
He courted and then married Joyce L. (Hall) Collier on July 5, 1952 and they shared 68 years and seven months together. He said he loved her more than anyone on Earth. To this union was born two children, Leslie J. (Al) Pilz and Larry D. (Pauline) Collier, who preceded him in death.
Besides his wife and daughter, Leslie; Brother Alex is survived by three grandchildren, Gary Willett, Jr., Alanna (Adam) Szweda and Jeff Collier; six great-grandchildren, Hayley Roman, Tyler Szweda and four others; one great-great-grandchild and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his son, Larry Marvin; his parents and eight brothers, Ballard, Ellis, Oscar, Thomas Holbert 'Homer', Billy Ray, Jesse and infant twin brothers.
Shortly after Leslie was born, Brother Alex and Sister Joyce moved to Cleveland to find work and God blessed him with a good job as a Parts Quality Control Inspector for Ford Motor Company at the Brook Park plant, where he retired after 35 years.
He enjoyed sports, especially the Kentucky Wildcats. He loved to hunt and fish and he enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren.
Brother Alex got concerned about his soul and where he would be for eternity and he began to attend the Little Edna Church in Lorain. In 1962, he found the peace he had sought with many tears. He joined the Little Edna Church on March 25, 1962 and was baptized on April 1, 1962 by Elders Walter Parker and Chuck Keesee. He took his letter to Pleasant View Church in Litchfield on February 6, 1964. God called him to preach and he was ordained as a Minister on November 6, 1965. He was elected Moderator of Pleasant View on January 7, 1966 and served until February 2, 1989 when he resigned and moved back to Morehead, Kentucky. While in Kentucky, he served the South Shore Church as Moderator. He and Joyce wanted to move back to Ohio to be near Leslie and he brought his letter back to Pleasant View in November 7, 1998. He served the Pleasant View Church as Assistant Moderator and when he stepped down, he was made Honorary Assistant Moderator for life. He faithfully served the True Vine Church as Assistant Moderator from December, 2002, until his death. He was a great leader and showed much spiritual wisdom in all of his church work. He dedicated his life to the Lord's work and spent much time reading and preaching the word of God. Brother Alex had a very powerful voice to sing the beautiful songs of Zion and he was among the most gifted preachers and singers in the Old Regular Baptist. He will be sorely missed in this part of the vineyard, although we feel he is now at rest from his labors.
Brother Alex suffered a bad stroke a little over 20 years ago and it left him with issues with his right side and with his voice. It was hard for him to get around but he continued to press on and serve God as best he could. God still blessed him to preach and sing and occasionally he would still sing 'Lord You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me' and the spirit would overflow. In the last few years, he had glaucoma and it nearly took all of his sight. He could see the people but couldn't recognize their faces. He could no longer see to read and it really bothered him that he could no longer read the Bible or a songbook. He could no longer see to drive and Brother Hargis and Sister Joanna Tuttle would go and pick Brother Alex and Sister Joyce up and bring them to church. They had many wonderful times together.
His wife, Joyce, took such good care of him for many years. You should have seen his face light up as he proclaimed his never dying love for her when she and I visited him in the rehab facility two weeks before his death. She wanted to bring him home no matter how difficult the task would be. Just one week later he was released and we brought him home. He was unable to walk or stand and was very confused when we brought him home after his four weeks in virtual isolation in the hospital and the rehab facility due to COVID protocol with no visitors allowed except the one 'special privilege' visit we made. We had hoped that we could reverse the declining trend by bringing him home. He was happier but did not regain his strength or clear thinking, and God said it was not to be and called him home Friday morning, February 19, 2021.
I feel surely that Brother Alex is at rest in Paradise and would not want to come back to this world. His labor here is finished and I'm sure he would want me to remind each of you how fleeting life is and that we have no promise of the next breath. Please fall out with sin and put the faith God gave you to work and close in with the offered mercies of Jesus Christ, so you can go where Brother Alex has gone.
Visitation will be at the Pleasant View Old Regular Baptist Church, 3589 Beat Rd., Litchfield from 4 to 6 p.m., Tuesday, February 23, 2021 followed by a service at 6 p.m. His funeral will be 11 a.m., Wednesday, February 24, 2021. All Covid 19 protocols will be observed including face masks at the church. Burial will follow at River Road Cemetery, LaGrange.
Duke Funeral Home, 1021 Main St., Grafton, is handling arrangements.
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