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Urbana/Champaign — Verna Lynn Collins Bowen passed away at Halifax Hospice in Orange City, Florida on July 6, 2021 after a valiant struggle with Chronic Heart Failure.

Lynn was born Feb. 2, 1941 (proud to be a groundhog), to Vernon and Helen Wood Collins in Montreal, Canada. At age 5, Lynn moved with her parents to Monticello and then to Champaign.

Lynn graduated from Champaign High School, class of 1959  and attended the University of Illinois. Lynn became a proud US citizen, and never missed voting in all elections. Lynn was employed at the University of Illinois in the foreign student office. With her first husband, Bruno Dreblow, they hosted many foreign students in their home. Lynn worked in retail and the secretarial field until moving to Florida in 1995. There she began a career of writing and photography.  As a prolific writer Lynn was a member of The National League of  American Pen Women and wrote hundreds of poems for all occasions and subjects, most of which contained a subtle moral lesson. Lynn was employed by The Deland Beacon newspaper for many years and authored 699 Nature Scenes columns while also writing advertisements and specialty articles. In retirement, Lynn was a volunteer at DeLand Boys and Girls Club for many years and a teaching assistant at Blue Lake Elementary School, earning a Teaching Team of the Year award. An avid nature lover, Lynn could indeed talk to the animals, any and all. She was an active member of DeLand Audubon, Friends of Lake Woodruff and the Good Samaritan Clinic in DeLand.  

Surviving to celebrate the joy Lynn brought to the lives of all she touched are her husband of 24 years Andy Bowen of DeLand, her Daughter Angela Earl (Kevin) of   Camargo, IL. Granddaughter Jessica Irwin and great grandson Kegan Dreblow of Rantoul, IL. Brother Ross Collins (Cinda) of Mattoon, IL. and several nieces. Step daughter Julia Sorensen, step grandsons Matthew and Eric Sorensen of Vernon, Vt. stepson Mark Bowen (Katie) and step grandson James Bowen of Putney, VT.

Lynn developed a lifelong love of the ocean after spending summer vacations with her grandfather, Miles Collins a square rigged sailing Captain, who regaled Lynn with his tails of circumnavigating the world.

A Memorial Service celebrating Lynn’s life will be held July 21, 2021 at 10:00 Earl Brown Park, South Pavilion, 815 South Alabama Street, DeLand.

Memorial donations in Lynn’s honor may be made to the Age of Sail Heritage Center, 8334 hwy 209 Port Greville, Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, Canada, BOM 1SO

Or West Volusia Audubon Society PO Box 1268 DeLand, FL 32721-1268


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