The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

July 1, 2013

H. Wilford Dollins

From staff reports

— H. Wilford Dollins was born in a Minor Hill, Tenn., farmhouse on March 14, 1925, to David Brown Dollins and Ivarena Smith.

Most people would say he had fought the illness, but the truth is it was keeping him from playing golf so he dismissed it. He went to his eternal home Monday, July 1, 2013.

He grew up like any country boy, with a healthy love of agriculture and the people in his close-knit community. He went to school, played basketball, got into trouble and fell in love.

He was a brother to Garland, Loel, Joel, Leon and sister Louise, who all have preceded him in death.

Dollins is survived by his wife, Mildred Adell Dollins. He had said the date they married was “immaterial,” but experts place it around Feb. 12, 1944.

Not long after came their son, Robert, who also preceded him in death in 2005.

In the 1960s, the couple adopted two daughters, Nancy and Leah.

He is most known for being a man who helped build Athens as it is today. A former president of the Limestone County Chamber of Commerce and a long-standing member of the Limestone County Builders Association, he was awarded the Builder of the Year title in 2010. He also was the owner and operator of Tennessee Valley Wholesalers, a plumbing and electrical supply store with locations in Athens and Pulaski, Tenn.

Dollins was also a man of second chances. He gave of himself, even when it hurt, but didn’t think twice because he expected you to make the most of it.

He is remembered fondly as “Papa” by his family, daughter Nancy Croomes and husband Scott of Athens; daughter Leah Morash and husband Dan of Athens; grandchildren Robyn Olsen and husband Javis of Pulaski, Tenn.; Nicole Gatlin and husband Jimmy of Athens; Will Darmer of Athens; Benjamin Croomes of Auburn; David Croomes and wife Ashlee of Burbank, Calif.; and Rebecca Croomes of Athens.

Services will be at Carr & Erwin Funeral Home in Pulaski, Tenn.

The funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday, July 5, with burial to follow at Giles Memory Gardens.     

Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. Thursday, July 4.