Arthur A. Collins, founder of Collins Radio Company, has been called a rare man of greatness, a complex but shy person, who continually has his sights not on the epicenter, but beyond the horizon of technology.
He broke barriers of conventional knowledge and made routine a pattern of scientific advancement. For him and the company he founded and directed for 40 years, work brought many personal rewards, but it was the technical breakthrough and total utilization of technology which provided the greatest motivation.
Collins attended Cedar Rapids public schools, Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1927, Coe College in Cedar Rapids for special courses, and the University of Iowa for advanced studies in physics.
He received an honorary doctor of science degree from Coe College in 1954, an honorary doctorate from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn in 1968, an honorary doctor of engineering degree from Southern Methodist University in 1970, and an honorary doctor of science degree from Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids in 1974.
From 1945 through 1951, Mr. Collins served as a director of Coe College. He was a director of the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest, Dallas, from 1962 to 1969, and served on the board of directors of the Herbert Hoover Foundation.
He was a member of the International Sponsors Committee of the Robert Hutchings Goddard Library Program, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts.
Mr. Collins belongs to the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the Navy League of the United States, the American Ordnance Association, the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, and was a member of the Cedar Valley Amateur Radio Club.
He received the Secretary of the Navy's Distinguished Public Service Award Citation in 1962, the Iowa Broadcasters Association Distinguished Service Award in 1966, was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1968, received the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association's David Sarnoff Award in 1979, and the Electronics Industries Association's Medal of Honor in 1980.
After leaving Collins Radio in 1972, he formed a new firm, Arthur A. Collins, Inc., based in Dallas, to carry out systems engineering studies in the communications and computer fields.
He was married to Mary Margaret (Meis), and was formerly married to Margaret Van Dyke, who died in 1955. He is survived by four children.