Pauline P. Collins, of Amherst, Mass., passed away peacefully on Thursday, April 4, 2013, her 92nd birthday, in the care of loving friends and the compassionate attention of the staff and volunteers of the Hospice at The Fisher Home in North Amherst.
Pauline was born on April 4, 1921, in Sylva, in the mountains of Western North Carolina, the daughter of Hanson and Mercedes (Leake) Pressley. She graduated from Cullowhee High School in 1938. Pauline developed an early interest in Spanish and Spanish American literature at Western Carolina University and Duke University, which led to a Master's degree at Duke, and went on to get a doctorate in Romance Languages at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While studying for her doctorate, she was awarded the Association of University Women's Colton Fellowship, which enabled her to spend a year and a half working in the archives and libraries of Mexico, Peru and Chile. She also spent a year in the Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress.
On July 3, 1941, Pauline was married to Denver Bryson, also of Cullowhee, N.C. Sadly, he was killed serving his country in World War II, and died in Italy on July 16, 1944.
On June 9 1955, Pauline married Professor Dan Stead Collins in Chapel Hill, N.C., and they moved to Amherst, where Dan was an English Professor at the University of Massachusetts. Pauline served as Director of the Hampshire Inter-Library Center (HILC) a cooperative facility owned jointly by the Five Colleges, for 11 years. During that time she was awarded a second Master's degree from the Rutgers University School of Communication, Information and Library Studies.
In 1968, Dr. Collins joined the University of Massachusetts Library staff, and shortly afterward was named to the Steering Committee of the Latin American Studies Program. She taught a course in Latin American Bibliography, which she continued to teach for 20 years. Due to her stewardship, the Latin American Collection more than tripled in both size and quality.
Pauline served a three-year term as Executive Secretary of the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM), 1973-1976, in addition to her regular duties. During the time the SALALM Secretariat was at UMass, she carried out a sizable publications program and assisted in planning three annual conferences.
Dan died in 1995. Pauline retired from UMass in June 1996, and moved to the Applewood Retirement Community in Amherst that same month, and for many years thereafter actively enjoyed the lively intellectual environment. She took part in many classes, the Reading Group and the morning political round table, among others. Her appreciation for each and every member of the Applewood staff was always expressed in the gracious manner which was so much a part of her.
Pauline was predeceased by her first husband, Denver Bryson; her second husband, Dan S. Collins; sister, Alene Cashatt; and brothers, Richard Pressley and Hanson M. Pressley Jr. She is survived by a sister, Sarah Ruth Catlapp, a niece, Constance Catlapp, both of Anaheim, Calif.; nieces, Catherine Hunt of Franklinville, N.C., and Margaret Taylor, of Dearborn, Mich.; nephews, Hanson (Mike) M. Pressley III of Clyde, N.C., and Denver Bryson Cashatt of Mt. Pleasant, Texas; and her godson, Dylan Savage, of Charlotte, N.C.
The Douglass Funeral Home in Amherst is in charge of arrangements. Burial, beside her husband, Dan, will be at the convenience of the family, in the Wildwood Cemetery in Williamsport, Pa. There are no calling hours. A memorial service will be held in Amherst at a date and place as yet to be determined.
Memorial contributions may be made to The Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies, 650 E. Pleasant St., Amherst, MA 01002, or the South Congregational Church, 1066 S. East St., Amherst, MA 01002, or to the Latin American Collection, Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts, 154 Hicks Way, Amherst, MA 01003. Obituary and memorial register at www.douglassfuneral. com.