Obituary of L.C. Collins, Jr.
In Loving Memory of Luther Cleve “L.C.” Collins, Jr.
L.C. Collins, Jr., born on March 20, 1946, went home to be with the Lord, due to complications of long-term COVID on February 10, 2024. L.C. was known for his encouraging and uplifting spirit, his smile, and his love for all people. He lived his life that reflected his relationship with God. He left behind an enduring legacy of passion, dedication, and love. Known as Professor L.C. Collins, he founded and served as the esteemed chief instructor at the East Tennessee School of Taekwondo/Karate, a role he has embraced since March 1969.
Professor Collins not only imparted martial arts expertise, but also instilled values of discipline,respect, and perseverance in his students. He also transcended in the confines of the studio to positively shape the character and lives of those fortunate enough to be under his guidance.Outside of his achievements in martial arts, Professor Collins was a pillar of strength and love in his family. His devotion to his beloved wife, Delilah Collins, created an unwavering foundation of love and countless sweet memories throughout their shared journey.
His legacy lives on through his children, grandchildren, and students who will carry forward the values and teachings he so passionately instilled. L.C. Collins was more than a martial arts instructor; he was a compassionate soul with a "what you see is what you get" nature, embodying the tender and kind man that he was in every interaction.
Beyond the walls of the dojo, Professor Collins was a gifted artist and storyteller, captivating the imaginations of his beloved grandchildren. His artistic talents went far beyond the precision of martial arts forms, which extended into the realms of painting, drawing, and creating worlds and infinite laughter through his storytelling.
His life in the community was a testament to his power of love, mentorship, and integrity. May his memory continue to inspire and uplift those who were privileged to have known him.
Left to cherish his precious memories, his wife, Delilah, “the love of his life”; Children: Derwin, Serina (Lee) Morelock, Felicia (Ed) Conners, Lisa Collins; Grandchildren: Zachary, Sean, Bryanna, Brooke, Austin, & Aislyn; Sister: Carolyn (Jerry) Fauver; Brother: Norman (Debbie) Collins; several Nieces & Nephews, extended Family & Friends.
In addition to his parents: Luther Cleve (Sr.) & Ruby McElhaney Collins, he was preceded in death by his sisters: Sharon Gamble & Janet Harrison; Niece: Sonya Gamble; Nephew: Preston Nottingham.
The family will receive friends from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm on Thursday, February 15, 2024, at Carter-Trent Funeral Home in Kingsport. The funeral service will begin at 6:00 pm with Bro. Luther Russell and Bro. Greg Street officiating. A military graveside service will be held at 2:00 pm on Friday, February 16, 2024, at Oak Hill Memorial Park with American Legion Hammond Post #3/265 presiding. All those wishing to attend are asked to meet at the cemetery by 1:45pm.
To view a full obituary or to leave an online condolence please visit www.cartertrent.com.
Carter-Trent Funeral Home in downtown Kingsport is proudly serving the Collins family.
Article submitted by Professor L.C. Collins, Jr. on 11-3-21:
L.C. Collins, Jr., Founder/Chief Instructor of the East Tennessee School of Taekwondo/Karate, started Karate in 1966 at Lockbourne Air Force Base, Columbus, Ohio under T/Sgt. Dubuque, an Okinawan stylist. While stationed in Ohio, Alaska, and Sumter, South Carolina, he was fortunate to train in different systems of the Martial Arts. Over the years he has trained in Jujitsu, Judo, Boxing, Hapkido, Karate, and Taekwondo. In 1969 Professor Collins combined taekwondo and Kempo Karate, with this system evolving over the years. "It's an excellent form of self-defense and still serves us well today."
On May 7, 1994, Mr. Collins was inducted into the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame for his dedication and training in Martial Arts. In May 1995, Mr. Collins was asked to be on the Executive Board of Directors of the W.M.A.H.O.F. by President/Founder Professor E.A. Moore, to be the Tennessee Representative.
On June 26, 2004, Professor Collins was inducted into the World Karate Union Hall of Fame as "Grandmaster of the Year" in Kempo Karate.
On Sept. 18, 2021, Professor Collins was inducted for the second time into the USA Martial Arts Hall of fame as "Multi-Disciplined Man of the Year"
On Oct. 1, 2021, Professor Collins was promoted by the USA Martial Arets Alliance board of directors to the rank of "Sokeship 10th Degree Black Belt" Officially he is the Grandmaster and head of his organization. This is the highest rank in martial arts that a Black Belt can receive.
Professor Collins wrote, "I am honored to receive these awards and feel very blessed." He stated, "I am a very blessed man. Lord willing, I will continue to teach as long as students want to learn and work for what they want. We are here to make each student successful in life throughout the practice of martial arts. I am grateful for all the students I have taught over the years and glad to have been part of their life."
Professor Collins has been teaching Taekwondo/Karate in Kingsport for over 58 years, since March 1969, and continued to work out and teach daily and personally overseeing every class. Professor L.C. Collins, the founder and chief instructor at East Tennessee School of Taekwondo/Karate, was inducted for the second time into the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame as “Multi-Disciplined Man of the Year.” On Oct. 1, Collins was promoted by the USA Martial Arts Alliance Board of Directors to the rank of “Sokeship 10th Degree Black Belt.” This is the highest rank a black belt can receive in martial arts. He is officially the grandmaster and head of his organization. In 1969, Collins combined Taekwondo and Kempo Karate into a system that has evolved over the years, but still serves students as an excellent form of self-defense.
Collins has been active in the martial arts for 58 years (55 of those spent teaching in Kingsport). He has held the rank of ninth degree black belt under the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame since May 1995. Collins says he feels honored to receive the awards and feels “very blessed.” He thanks his wife, Delilah, for her love and support over the years. She is the love of his life and has always been there for him. He also thanks God for all the trials he has brought him through, including COVID.
Professor Collins wrote on Oct. 15, 2020, “I got COVID and almost died. My wife took care of me 24/7 for weeks. This virus was the worst experience I have ever had in my life. It damaged my lungs permanently. I used oxygen 24 hours a day. Thank the Lord, I am still able to teach every class with the help of my oxygen and my black belts. God is so good to me.”
Professor Collins then wrote, “I am a very blessed man. Lord willing, I will continue to teach as long as students want to learn and work for what they want. We are here to make each student successful in life through the practice of martial arts. I am grateful for all the students I have taught over the years and am glad to have been a part of their lives.”To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of L.C. Collins, Jr., please visit Tribute Store