With great sadness…a tremendous loss.

Admiral LeRoy Collins, Jr.

It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that I pass along the news that Admiral LeRoy Collins died in a tragic bicycle accident this morning in Tampa as he was on his way to row at the University of Tampa.

Admiral Collins had an outstanding Naval career, was a distinguished gentleman and family man, and one-time candidate for the United States Senate. He currently was serving the people of Florida as the Director of Florida Veteran’s Affairs having been appointed to the post by Governor Charlie Crist.

Admiral Collins had a passion for helping people, speaking the unvarnished truth — though in a very gentlemanly way, and giving back to his community. Though in his mid-seventies, he lived an active and healthy lifestyle — frequently biking and rowing before sunrise.

I have told countless people the last few years that in my twenty years working in politics, I have never been so privileged as to have worked on Admiral Collins’s long-shot U.S. Senate campaign. To me, Admiral Collins represented the best of what a political candidate had to offer: honesty, integrity, solid values, and a tremendous love for our state and our nation. Those characteristics are all too often the mantra of political candidates who will say or do anything to project a winning message to voters. With Admiral Collins, what he projected was real.

Admiral Collins was the son of Florida’s former Governor Collins who served the state in one of the most politically and trying times our nation has ever faced.

I share my thoughts and consideration to you today, and ask for your prayers for the Collins family during this tragic moment. While the coming days will be full of unanswered questions, and thoughts of missed goodbyes, the Collins family is strong and I know they will endure.

Florida has lost a fine public servant and he will be missed.

Good bye Admiral.

Chris Ingram

17 thoughts on “With great sadness…a tremendous loss.”

  1. Thank you for sharing. You are spot on about Admiral Collins. He was a gentleman and always very helpful. I respected him a great deal for he was a person of great integrity and extraordinarily genuine. When he ran for senate I remember thinking he wasn’t just a candidate. He really wanted to work for the people. He was the kind of man who didn’t need spin. My prayers go out to the Collins family and everyone he has touched. Admiral Collins, you left an unparalleled legacy. You will be missed.

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  2. God bless Admiral Collins and Jane. Such service they have both given in the way of leadership and in everyday citizenry. Admiral Collins is without a doubt one of the most important mentors I have been blessed to know in my life. I value every moment, thought, idea and laugh shared.

    Having continued his online commentaries since running for Senate in 2005, we are blessed to have access to many of this great man’s thoughts both personal and governmental. They are under ‘commentaries’ at leroycollins.org. Some of the personal he left with us:

    “Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not.”

    “Life is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after. Make it a fantastic one.”

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  3. I only knew him briefl and from others who knew him personally.
    It was truly dissapointing that his campaign did not gain traction and support from the Republican establishement. instead katherine harris was the Republican candidate for the senate and we know what that got us.

    Faur Seas and May good belss your family.

    John Butler

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  4. Chris,
    Thank you for the note.
    As former State Field Director, I’d like to echo your sentiments and offer my sincerest condolences to the Collins family during this time of trememndous loss & sadness.
    –Travis Horn

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  5. I’ve just heard that Leroy Collins passed away today. I know that you were close to him and his family. I always found him quite admirable. Please pass along my condolences.

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  6. Very Sad Chris — good write up. “Death puts everything else in Perspective”.

    Will you do my Eulogy? 🙂 Pray for the Admiral and his family — and have a great day!

    Sincerely,
    Brian

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  7. I didn’t know Admiral Collins but have read a great deal about his work since this tragic accident. We must make it a point to remember the positive impact he made on government due to his character, attitude & work ethic. He can live on in all of us. His family will know how much he is going to be missed & I wish them peace.

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