Jeanna R. Collins, age 76, of Clarkesville, Georgia, passed from this life at The Oaks in Baldwin, GA, on Sunday, February 10, 2019.
Jeanna was born on May 13, 1942, in Baxley, Georgia, to the late Lincoln and Eloise Arnold. She was preceded in death by several cousins and one sister, Carla Herrington, of Baxley, Georgia.
Jeanna received her music degree at the University of Georgia and was solo clarinetist in the Redcoat Band. She taught music in Virginia, Georgia, and Germany. She performed with the New York Symphony for the Chautauqua Summer Program at Lakeside in Ohio. She began teaching music for Habersham County in 1977. After receiving her Master's degree from North Georgia College, she taught language arts in Clarkesville up to her retirement in 2001.
Her interest in Holocaust Studies inspired her to create suitable curricula for her Middle Grade Students and for other classrooms nationwide. Because of her dedicated work in this subject, Jeanna became a Mandel Teaching Fellow with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. She was also given an Award of Excellence by the State of Georgia for the creation of the permanent tile memorial in North Habersham Middle School called “We Remember: A Memorial for the Children of the Holocaust.” The memorial was entirely comprised of her students' artwork. After her retirement, she picked up her clarinet again to play with the North Georgia Wind Ensemble in Gainesville.
Jeanna also worked closely with the Joseph Campbell Foundation and with the local affiliate, The North Georgia Mythological RoundTable®. She was education chairperson for the Mythic Imagination Institute in Atlanta, which was also affiliated with the Joseph Campbell Foundation.
Jeanna is a member of St. Mark Catholic Church in Clarkesville.
Early in her life she was recognized as a champion for social justice and as a compassionate advocate for animal rights. But above everything else, Jeanna was beloved for her quick wit and warm-hearted humor. Both were indicative of her love for life. She was at her happiest telling stories and entertaining friends with her laughter and with theirs. Perhaps the American poet, Wallace Stevens, summarized Jeanna's life best in one line, “What is left that I have not already loved.”
She is survived by her husband of 47 years, Ty Collins of Lake Burton; her daughter, Kelsey Collins of Demorest; a brother-in law, Russell Collins of Jacksonville, Florida; three nieces, Evette Jones of Smyrna, Casey Herrington of Atlanta, and Valerie Cofer of Carrollton; two great nieces, Emily and Julia Bedard of Carrollton; and two great nephews, Drake and Dante Sherman of Atlanta. She is also survived by three felines, Shadow, Button, and Ariel, and three canines, Happy, Skitt, and Joy.
Plans for a memorial service have been deferred until a later date. Jeanna has requested that any memorial offerings be made to the Habersham Animal Shelter, the Paws for Life in Clayton, or to Smithgall Animal Shelter in Cleveland.
Arrangements by Hillside Memorial Chapel, Clarkesville. 706-754-6256.