Obit: Collins, Gregg Allen (1963 - 1975)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Collins, Fink, Oldham, Short, Woods, Ziegelmaier

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 4/17/1975

Collins, Gregg Allen (18 May 1963 – 12 April 1975)

In a rescue effort involving police, family and volunteers, all was to no avail last Saturday when the object of search, an eleven-year-old Illinois boy, was found dead in a Town of Mentor drainage ditch.

The boy, Gregg Allen Collins, was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Dale Collins of Rockford, who own a cabin in the sparsely populated township.

According to Walter Oldham, chief of the Clark County Traffic Police and director of the search effort, the Collins youth first disappeared from the family cabin between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., with police involvement at 10:30 a.m.

Officers were dispatched to the family cabin and the search continued for several hours into the afternoon before the boy was found, face down in a water filled drainage ditch, approximately one and one-quarter mile from the cabin and three-quarters of a mile south of U. S. Highway 10, which passes through the area.

Oldham stated that eight county officers participated in the futile search, joined by family members and five or six volunteers. All were assisted by Glen Short, a local pilot, who flew over the area for several hours.

Snowmobiles, owned by the county for trail patrol, were brought in for the search and it was their use, according to Oldham, that aided in the finding of the body. Oldham and Undersheriff Thomas Woods were the first to spot the body from their machine.

Woods, in trying to remove the boy from the water, slipped through ice and was soon up to “his waist” in mud, Oldham reported. He had to be assisted out of the mire. It was later learned that Woods received a hairline fracture on his left leg in the rescue attempt.

The body was taken from the ditch by snowmobile to the nearest highway where it was transported to the Georgas-Gesche Funeral Home in Neillsville.


Funeral services were held, and the Rosary was recited Monday at the Georgas-Gesche Funeral Home at Neillsville with the Rev. David Ziegelmaier officiating.

Burial was to be in St. John’s Catholic Cemetery, Fairchild, at a later date. A Memorial Mass was scheduled for Wednesday, April 16, at St. Rita’s Catholic Church, Rockford, of which he was a member.

Gregg was born May 18, 1963, in Rockford and was a student at Page Park Elementary School there.

Survivors, in addition to his parents, include two brothers: Randy and Terry, both at home; and his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Collins of Jefferson, and Mrs. Verla Fink of Glen Flora.



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