Bourbon loses officer, council member, friend

BOURBON — The Bourbon Police Department, Town of Bourbon and the community lost one of its most memorable leaders and friends Friday morning.
Bourbon Assistant Police Chief and town council member Gary Collins, 49, was found unresponsive at his home at approximately 5 a.m. Friday morning. He was rushed to Kosciusko Community Hospital where he was later pronounced dead from natural causes, of an apparent heart attack.
It was reported that after working a 3 to 11 p.m. shift the evening prior, Collins had returned home and went about his normal routine.
Born and raised in the community, Collins was the father of three children. His wife Rose and two daughters survive.
A Triton graduate, Collins took his roles in the community seriously and was very proud of being the local DARE officer. He annually read a moving story accentuating his belief that if only one child was affected by his teaching to refrain from drug and alcohol use, it was well worth the effort. Area children may also remember him as a part-time bus driver for the Triton School Corporation.
This was his fourth year serving as a council member and his 18th year with the Bourbon Police Department. The loss of his life will go much further than filling seats or positions however; he will be missed by those close to him and remembered by many.
Fellow officer and Bourbon Police Chief Bill Martin, the responding officer to the scene, shared his sentiments to the community and Collins family. “Assistant Chief Gary Collins was an important part of the Bourbon Police Department for nearly 18 years, and he will be greatly missed,” Martin said. “Gary cared about the people of the Town of Bourbon and served them well over the course of his career. Our hearts go out to his wife, Rose and his daughters Jeanna and Danielle.”