Bobbie Eric Collum, a lifelong resident of Fannin, Mississippi, passed away on June 29th at the Blake in Flowood. She was 91.
Born on November 6, 1930, Bobbie was the second of five resilient women born to Minnie Bell and James Buchanan Collum. She graduated from Mississippi College with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and then began working in the Engineering Department of the Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company. She left this role to pursue her true passion of teaching Chemistry.
She began her distinguished teaching career at Callaway High School, where she was awarded by the Mississippi Section of the American Chemical Society for outstanding work in teaching Chemistry in Mississippi. She later taught at Brandon High School, where she was recognized as one of twenty educators in the United States to receive a 9-week scholarship for advanced research work in Radiation and Biology. She was also awarded a Merit Scholarship for Mississippi Teachers of High School Science, to pursue further graduate work at the University of Mississippi. She then spent many years serving at Mississippi Public Broadcasting, formerly Mississippi Education Television. Even after she retired, she was always eager to return to the classroom as a substitute teacher at local high schools or to supervise local standardized testing.
An advocate of lifelong learning, Bobbie could often be found with a textbook in one hand and a magnifying glass in the other. Her focus of study was ever-changing and her knowledge vast. She was always eager to learn more and share her knowledge with others. The most important subject to her was her Biblical studies. She read the Bible front-to-back countless times, always inscribing notes in the margins, and utilizing other theological references to better discern scripture. No birthday card, letter or visit with Bobbie would be complete without recitation of scripture. She encouraged everyone to pray without ceasing.
Second only to her faith was her family. While she never had children of her own, she was considered a maternal figure to many. As a Sister, Aunt, Great Aunt, and cousin, she was charismatic, incredibly honest, and exceedingly generous. Her vocabulary was extensive and her occasional transparency refreshing. She practiced an open-door policy where one could always be met with a smile, a cup of green tea and a handful of peanut M & M's. She instilled lessons of resilience, independence, and the importance of education in each of her nieces and nephews.
Bobbie is survived by her sisters, Jimmie Foreman Burnette, and Martha Collum Prince; nephew, Robert Maynard Foreman (Annette); niece, Dusty Foreman Hinton (Dees), three great-nieces; Kristin Hinton Cox (Joseph), Hannah Foreman Ivison (Will), Harlee Hinton; and three great-nephews, Hinton and Elliot Cox and Teddy Ivison. She is further survived by many other nieces, nephews, and cousins whom she loved dearly. Her parents, Minnie Bell, and James Buchanan Collum; sisters, Mary Collum Sanderson, and Elizabeth Gene Collum; niece Kandy Sanderson Mason and nephew Steven Buchanan Foreman, predeceased her.
A private family service will be held at Fannin United Methodist Church on Sunday, July 3rd at 2 pm. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to either First Baptist Church of Fannin or Fannin United Methodist Church. The family would like to extend special thanks to the caregivers of Sitters, LLC, and the entire memory care staff at The Blake in Flowood for their compassionate care.
Pallbearers are Bob Foreman, Dees Hinton, Tommy Long, Clay Mason, Kenny Prince, Joe Sanderson, Ted Sanderson, Mark Swigonski.
Honorary pallbearers are Joseph Cox, Will Ivison and Mitchell Walley.