Frederick Collins, Class of 1954

Posted Apr 01, 2022

Fred Collins Obituary

Frederick Collins ’54 died March 12, 2021. Fred was born on April 13, 1932 to the late Floyd and Beulah Collins of Bellville Ohio. Fred attended Otterbein College where he discovered his talent for mathematics and physics, double majoring in those areas and minoring in chemistry.  He played basketball, baseball, and was in the Zeta Phi fraternity.

Fred graduated near the top of his class and landed a job with DowChemical in Midland, Michigan. That job began his 35-year career in foam plastics that included working at Dynafoam (Sun Chemical) and Sweetheart Plastics before landing at Valcour, Inc., where he was vicepresident of research and development. Fred was a pioneer in polystyrene and polyethylene foam plastics. He held several patents for inventions in the field and received a Fellows in the Society of Plastics Engineers in 1995. Perhaps his most satisfying achievement came from conceiving the idea for the “water noodle” in 1983 which is the colorful flexible foam cylinder used as a float or pool toy and now found in backyard swimming pools, lakes and beaches across the country.

After he retired, Fred and Mary finally had the time to pursue their passion for travel. They took many trips to countries around the world and lived part-time on the Big Island in Hawaii for a number of years to get a break from the harsh New York winters. Eventually they moved to Chapel Hill in North Carolina.

Fred is survived by his wife, Mary, his daughters, Kimberly, Jylana and Carolyn, his sons Victor and Christopher, his grandson, Henry, and his brothers and sister, Paul, Janie and David.