Clifton Shell “Clif” Collins

September 10, 1935 - June 30, 2023

09/10/1935 - 06/30/2023

Past Services

Funeral Service
Wednesday July 12, 2023
10:00 am
Riverside Cemetery
Murfreesboro, NC 27855

MURFREESBORO, NC – Clifton “Clif” Shell Collins, age 87, passed away on Friday, June 30, 2023 at the Gates House Assisted Living in Gatesville, NC. He was born on September 10, 1935, in Emporia, Virginia, to the late Robert Franklin Collins and Nora Lee Shell Collins.

Clif was a graduate of Greensville County High School, Emporia, University of Richmond, Richmond, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, and East Carolina University, Greenville. He began his employment with Chowan University in 1965 as a residence hall director for men. He has served in many different capacities during his tenure at Chowan, being named director of financial aid in 1970. His many experiences with the University and students and his knowledge of finance, counseling, mathematics, and human nature prepared him to be an outstanding director of financial aid. In 1991 he was inducted into the Order of Lux et Veritas, and in 2001 he was named to the Chowan Sports Hall of Fame. Upon retirement in 2001 he was granted emeritus status, an honor permitting him to retain his title, director of financial aid. He was the first staff member to be given such recognition. During his retirement Clif had ample time for his love of gardening, working in his yard, rabbit hunting, and fishing.

Clif was a devoted member of Murfreesboro Baptist Church serving faithfully as a Deacon and as treasurer for many years. He was also a volunteer and charter member on the Murfreesboro Rescue Squad, a member of the Murfreesboro Exchange Club, a member of the North Carolina Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NCSFAA), and the Southern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. He also served as the press box announcer at Chowan football games for more than 30 years.

Clifton is survived by his beloved wife of 60 years, Janet, a brother, Lawrence Edward Collins; and many friends.

A celebration of life funeral service will be held on Wednesday, July 12, 2023, at 10:00 am at the Riverside Cemetery, Murfreesboro, NC, with Rev. Rick Bailey officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Chowan University, Office of Advancement, One University Place, Murfreesboro, NC 27855; funds may be designated to the Collins Memorial Scholarship or online by clicking here or the Janet Harwood Collins and Clifton Shell Collins Volleyball Endowment or online by clicking here or Murfreesboro Baptist Church, 200 W. Main Street, Murfreesboro, NC 27855 or online by clicking here

Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service – Ahoskie Chapel is handling the arrangements for the Collins family and online condolences can be directed to the family by visiting

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Place Family
9 months ago

Janet, We are so sorry to hear about “Mr. Clif”. He was such a good man. He was so kind to Nate and Claire as they grew up in MBC. We all send our love and prayers. Sincerely, Tim, Jen, Nate and Claire Place

Dorothy A. Wallace
9 months ago

Janet, I just learned about Clif’s passing. I send my sympathy to you and all the family at this difficult time. You are in my prayers. Clif was a talented and faithful Chowan employee. He contributed so much the many years he was on staff.

9 months ago

Janet I am so sorry about Cliff & his passing. Cliff was a very special person to many a person he met in his years at Chowan. Plus to the citizen’s of Murfreesboro.I remember his dedication to the Murfreesboro Rescue Squad, he always answered his call time & helped with every fund raiser. Yes, he was a Blessing to our community.Thank you for sharing so that he was able to complete the works his Heavenly Father asked of him. My Prayers are with you & the others of his family.God be with you.

Booker Daniel
9 months ago

Cliff was a very kind and compassionate citizen of Murfreesboro and member of Murfreesboro Baptist Church. He will be much missed. Prayers for Janet, family and friends.