Jason Hayes Collins, 48, of Lenexa, Kan. passed away on Feb. 4, 2020. He was born on December 31, 1971 in St. Louis.
Jason grew up in St. Louis where he graduated from Pattonville High School in 1990. He spent several summer days in Cleveland visiting family and working on a family farm in western Kan., where he learned early the value of hard work. He received a bachelor’s degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management in 1996 from the University of Missouri in Columbia, where he also played the trumpet in the Marching Mizzou. It was the start of a successful global career that ultimately led him to become the North American Director of IT for Zurich Insurance. He previously served as Vice President of Digital and Innovation for AIG. He earned certifications as a Project Management Professional and Six Sigma Master Black Belt.
Jason didn’t spend his free time watching TV. In fact, he rarely sat still. He could delicately construct a butternut squash soup layered with flavors and gracefully use a chainsaw to carve his children’s initials into a tree stump. But that’s merely how he used his free time.
He relished the opportunity to cook a proper evening meal for his family. Never one to settle for less than perfection, Jason honed his culinary skills on a much deeper level than a home cook. It was a passion he truly loved to share with his family often cooking special dishes to please each person. He cooked for several charity fundraisers and often used his hobbies to serve others including a 2019 neighborhood crawfish boil to benefit Ability KC.
Some people escape to the spa to find peace, for Jason cooking and tending to the lawn were his Zen. He sometimes mowed three times a week and lovingly coaxed his turf into a lush carpet of deep green that mocked neighbors who tried to compete. He offered a bit of snark and a smile when they asked his secrets.
Jason loved working with his hands. He remodeled nearly every room in his Lenexa home making sure it suited the needs of his family. He was most comfortable with his tool belt situated on his waist and saw horses on the driveway while curious neighbors wondered what project he was taking on next.
Jason radically changed his health habits in the last several years and didn’t miss a day at the gym. With healthy eating and exercise habits, Jason recently found a love for Pilates and rarely missed a class with his favorite instructor. He had met his long-term health and fitness goals. Another of Jason’s loves were his dogs. He loved the discipline of training dogs and was known to many as a dog whisperer.
Above all, Jason loved to spoil his wife and children. Sometimes that meant seemingly smaller things like coveted trips to with the kids to Lowe’s and Home Depot to buy supplies for projects or bringing home large holiday inflatables that made Julie cringe. Other times it meant taking the family on adventurous vacations or teaching the kids to string Christmas lights on the house. More than that, he wanted to instill in them the same skills he learned as a child. He taught Christian to use his saw, enjoyed holiday meal prep with Payton and impressed upon Layla a deep love for animals.
Jason loved to travel and leveraged that passion with his career. He worked in several global capacities including when he and his family lived three years in Singapore. He had traveled to Europe, Australia, Asia and throughout the United States. The family rarely vacationed in the same place twice because he and Julie believed the world is meant to be explored. No matter where he went, there was little question that home was his favorite place.
Jason had many acts of service be it chopping down trees for neighbors or rehoming wayward snakes from neighbors’ yards.
He is survived by his wife, Julie Collins of Lenexa, Kan.; their children, Payton, Christian and Layla; Stepmother Ann Collins; And family Michael and Juliann Collins, Mark Collins, Jim and Marsha Reed.
He was preceded in death by his father, Arthur C. Collins and mother Marylyn (Monica) Collins.
On Tuesday, Feb. 11, the family will receive guests during a visitation at 10 a.m., followed by an 11 a.m. funeral service at Church of the Resurrection Wesley Covenant Chapel, 13720 Roe Avenue, Leawood, Kan. Burial will be immediately after at Pleasant Valley Cemetery, 9501 W. 159th St. in Overland Park, Kan. A reception will be from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Canyon Farms Golf Club, 17501 W. 87th St. Parkway, Lenexa, Kan.
A memorial fund has been set up for the family at https://www.gofundme.com/f/2wwsqf-collins-family-fund?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1 (Please copy and paste the URL address into your browser.)
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