Boy Norfleet Collier, Jr. was born in Tipton, Oklahoma on March 31, 1931 to Boy and Almyra Damron Collier. When he was six months old, the family moved to Washington state and settled in the logging town of Shelton. Boy began his education in a one-room school house, and graduated from Irene S. Reed High School in 1948. It was in Shelton that Boy acquired his love of the outdoors, fishing with his grandfather, hunting with his dad, and spending many happy hours swimming and boating with friends and cousins. When he attended the University of Washington, where he graduated in 1952 with a bachelor’s degree in criminology, Boy continued to explore, taking full advantage of his summer job in the kitchen of Paradise Lodge at Mt. Rainier.
Upon graduation, Boy entered the army for a mandatory four years. He was placed in the Counter Intelligence Corps and sent to German language school at Fort Holobird, outside Baltimore, Maryland. It was in nearby Dundalk that he met his wife, Ramona, who was teaching music at the local junior high school. They were married on March 4, 1955 in Ramona’s home town of Brunswick, Maryland, and spent his last service year together in Stuttgart, Germany.
When Boy received his military discharge in 1956, he returned home to Shelton just in time to welcome the arrival of his first daughter. The trio soon moved to Seattle, Washington, where Boy took classes at the university and earned his teaching certificate while working at a center for children. In 1960, Boy, Ramona, and two young daughters moved to Arlington, Washington, where he taught ninth grade math and science for two years.
By 1962, they welcomed a third daughter and moved to Bellingham, Washington, where Boy attended Western Washington University and earned his Masters in psychology. Then, in 1963, the family moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he attended the University of Minnesota for four years, working on his doctorate and working a forty-hour week at the university to support his family.
Upon completion of his doctorate in 1967, Boy moved his family to DeKalb, Illinois, where he had taken a position as Dean of Men with Northern Illinois University. After four years, and the birth of a fourth daughter, Boy and his family moved to Klamath Falls, Oregon. There, he took a position with the Oregon Institute of Technology, again as Dean of Men. By 1975 they were on their way (with a fifth daughter) to Juneau, Alaska, where Boy again taught classes and worked in student personnel, this time at the University of Alaska Southeast.
In 1978, Boy, Ramona, and the three daughters still at home left Juneau for Riverton, Wyoming, where they purchased an old farmhouse. Boy worked at the mental health clinic in town, travelled into nearby communities to serve clients who would otherwise lack access to much needed mental health care, and still found time to work the irrigation ditches and grow alfalfa to supplement the family’s income.
Just two years later, Alaska again called, and Boy moved to Tok to set up a mental health clinic in that small town. As clients could not always come to him, his work took him into communities such as Dot Lake, Mentasta, and Eagle. He very much enjoyed these trips — the Alaska countryside he got to see, and the people he had the opportunity to meet. His last move was in 1984, when he, Ramona, and their youngest daughter came to Fairbanks. Boy took the position as state psychologist at Fairbanks Correctional Center, from which he retired in 1994. Boy served on the Mental Health Board, and was an active member in Wilderness Search and Rescue and the Red Cross. He was happiest when busy, and happier still when his activities bettered the lives of others. He was always ready to help, for family or for strangers.
Boy was preceded in death by his daughters, Cheryl and Gretchen, and is survived by his wife, Ramona; sister Winnifred Ringhoffer and her family; daughters Kimberly Stickler, Jennifer Henry, and Sarah Hudson; and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Memorial services will be held November 3, 2018 at 3 p.m. at Christ Lutheran Church. Those who wish to make a donation in Boy’s memory are invited to donate to the Red Cross of the Tanana Valley. Online condolences may be made to the family at blanchardfamilyfuneralhome.com.