Della Mae (Dukes) Collins was born March 7, 1935 to Artie Mae (Ward) and Calvin Dukes in New Boston, Texas. Della grew up with her four brothers and four sisters in Waxahachie, Texas. Losing her mother at an early age, Della was quite independent. She was just 17 when she met Bradley Taylor and started a new life. Brad was off to a good start as a young man with a new bride. He landed a job in Insurance that moved him and Della to Jackson, MS. So off they went, and along came a son, Terry. Their next move was to Oakland, CA with Brad’s job and another son, Ricky was born. Another hop to Memphis, TN and they added son Kevin to the family. They continued on to Savannah, GA then North Carolina, living life and raising children. After the boys were grown, Brad and Della parted ways. Kevin and Della ventured back to Texas to be closer to family they had left years before. Living in and around La Porte, Della met Mr. Jerry Collins and what a relationship that became. Adding Jerry’s children to the family, Della loved Jana and Jeff as her own.
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Those who knew Della speak of her strength, and her stubbornness, but mostly of her love. She was smart and creative. She could raise money for any cause, which she did often through her association and membership in the Eagles (FOE 2753). She and Jerry were both active members. Aside from just raising children (and husbands) Della has worked for a Dentist and an Orthopedic Surgeon. Coming back to La Porte, she was the office manager/ membership director for Houston Yacht Club and accomplished most any task she set her mind to.
Della is preceded by her parents; her husbands, Bradley Taylor and Jerry Collins and son Kevin Taylor. She is survived by her children, Terry Taylor, Ricky Taylor, Jana Jacobs and Jeff Collins. She also leaves (at last count) eleven grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren. There are many extended family and too many friends to name that will miss her sweet smile. Rest well Della, You’ve earned it.