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HAMILTON - Loren Collins, loving husband, father, brother, grandfather and friend, passed away peacefully the morning of July 24th, 2018, surrounded by his family and life-long friend, Dan Smith.
He was ready to be welcomed into Heaven by his loving wife, Juelene, whom he had missed every day since her passing four years ago, and all of his pets, dear friends and family who preceded him. He was most excited to see his Lord and Savior whom he had waited his whole life to meet.
Loren was born in Laramie, WY, on October 3, 1945. Loren’s first “career” was as a drummer in a rock band-which may or may not have contributed to some of his rebel ways that he clung to until the very end of his life. In 1972, life and responsibilities brought him to Montana and set in motion a new chapter in his story. He and Juelene came to know Christ at Swan Chapel located near Big Fork, MT. They lived in both Ronan and Belgrade while raising three kids and traveling across the state to all of their sporting events. Loren also coached Little League Baseball for over 13 years and cherished the relationships he developed with so many people throughout that time.
Loren reinvented himself many times throughout his life: as a hippie, a construction worker, a cowboy and finally, a well-respected business man. He, along with his wife Juelene, invented the first wood pellet burning appliance and is considered the “Father” of the Wood Pellet Stove. They moved to Hamilton in 1994 and lovingly installed hundreds of wood stoves and pool tables all over Montana as the owners of Bitterroot Stoves and Billiards.
One thing that never changed was Loren’s ability to touch lives with his kindness and sense of humor. Every one of Loren’s grandchildren still have nightmares about the crazy antics he performed with his dentures.
One of his most treasured times of the year was hunting with his sons and best friends at Camp Whatchamacallit, located outside Townsend, MT. As much as one would like to know more about that place, “What Happens at Camp, Stays at Camp”. His favorite past-time the last few years was taking his beloved dog, Panda, to the dog park, watching Fox News, and getting beat playing cribbage by his golden child, Kim, and sometimes Tyler and his dear friend, Hash.
Loren is survived by his brother, Larry Collins: his daughter, Kim Konzak: his sons, Tyler (Tamara) Collins and Troy (Gina) Collins; 14 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren, his dear friends: Dan and Robin Smith, Mindy McKee and his dog, Panda.
The family wishes to express their deep gratitude to Loren’s cherished friends and the staff at Discovery Care Center for their love and support during his final months.
A celebration memorial for family and friends will be held at the Canyon View Church on Sunday, July 29th at 3 pm with a reception following the service. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorials be made in Loren’s name to: The Bitterroot Humane Association, 262 Fairgrounds Rd., Hamilton, MT 59840. Condolences may be left for the family at www.dalyleachchapel.com.