Oma Southwood Collins

Feb 1, 1915 - Jun 29, 2015


Oma Southwood Collins passed peacefully into her next life on June 29, 2015 at the age of 100, after touching many people with her gracious, positive attitude.

Oma was born on February 1, 1915 in Sullivan, Indiana, to Isaac and Effie McDaniel Southwood, She was the oldest of seven children, and her father was the local sheriff.

She began her administrative career with the State of Indiana soon after graduating from high school in 1933, then moved west to California and eventually eloped to Reno with her former schoolmate, William R. “Bill” Collins on Aug. 2, 1940. They began their life together in Lodi, where Bill was city editor of the Lodi Times. He and Oma exchanged daily letters for two years while he served with the U.S. Army in Germany during WWII.

They moved to Sacramento in 1942. Oma worked for the State of California’s Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board until retiring in the late 1980s when she was in her 70s. Bill was the longtime sports editor of the Sacramento Bee until his death in 1971.

Together, they had four children: AnaBeth (Michael) Connolly, of Lincoln, CA;Sharon (William) Schaaf of Costa Mesa, CA; Rob (Jolaine) Collins of Fair Oaks, CA; and John (Karie) Collins of South Lake Tahoe, CA.

Oma is survived by two sisters, Lois McMickle of Edgewater, MD, and Helen Sappenfield of Houston, TX, sisters-in-law Terry Southwood of Burbank, and Rosemarie Collins of Folsom, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
She was the proud matriarch of 8 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.
Oma was predeceased by her husband, Bill, brothers Olan “Gene,” Shirel, Isaac and Robert Southwood, and her grandson, Gregory Connolly.

Oma enjoyed entertaining family and friends, playing bridge, gardening. She’ll be remembered for sharing numerous loaves of her fresh-baked banana bread.

She was an active member of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Sacramento for more than 65 years. She was a lifelong member of the Order of the Eastern Star, most recently Lodi Chapter #150. When her children were young, she was involved with the Parkway Swimming Club, and was an avid bowler. As a young woman, she was active in the Democratic Party.

A memorial service will be held for Oma at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 11, at the First Christian Church, 3901 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, CA. Interment at East Lawn Elk Grove Memorial Park will be private.

To honor Oma’s memory, the family suggests sharing a kind gesture, or donating to a favorite charity.

Funeral Home:
East Lawn Elk Grove Mortuary
9189 E. Stockton Blvd
Elk Grove, CA
US 95624


  • Michael Connolly says:

    My dear sweet Oma. You are the salt of the earth. A woman of faith, dignity, grace and integrity. Thank you for caring for Matt and Greg and raising such a beautiful family which I am truly honored to be a part of. I love you and know full well that you are in God’s hands now.

  • Marian Allen Shelby says:

    I am sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. May your memories give you comfort.

  • Bette and Steve says:

    Blessings to her family. I know she did a wonderful job of raising their children from knowing her daughter (our neighbor). Let the good memories flow along with the tears.

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