Thomas John Collins

December 26, 1995 ~ March 23, 2024 (age 28) 28 Years Old

Thomas Collins Obituary

Thomas John "T.J." Collins was born on December 26, 1995, in Gurnee, Illinois. He was known by all of his teachers and coaches as a precocious little guy who excelled in almost everything he did. He played almost every youth sport. He would be the first to admit that he was not the most talented athlete, but no one understood the strategy and tactics it took to win better than T.J. He was drawn to golf in particular and adopted that as his varsity sport.

T.J. was also gifted academically—the rare natural student who was also a hard worker.  He was never satisfied to be just a participant and was a leader in everything he did. T.J. won numerous awards as a leader of Illinois Premier Boys State and then was one of the two senators selected to attend Boys Nation in Washington, D.C., where he met with many elected officials, including the President of the United States. T.J. was very proud of this and was a post-graduate counselor for the program for several years.

After high school, T.J. attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, Georgetown University, and the University of Texas at Austin School of Law where he was an associate editor of the Texas Law Review. He spent time living in New York and Washington, D.C., but he got to Texas as fast as he could. Then he convinced the rest of his family to get to Texas, too.  

During his third year of law school, at the height of the COVID era, T.J. encouraged his best friend, Weldon Sloan, to pick up golf. They practiced and played multiple times per week in Manor, Texas, where there was no evidence of COVID whatsoever. The golf practice paid off because T.J. became a top-notch recreational golfer, and golf became his favorite professional hobby.

After law school, T.J. joined the Kirkland & Ellis law firm in Dallas where he began his career as a transactional attorney specializing in mergers and acquisitions. He made many friends at Kirkland and then joined the FDLaw firm (Frederic Dorwart, Lawyers), also in Dallas. T.J. fell in love with the work and the people at FDLaw. Right away, he felt like he had found his legal home.

But the most important part of T.J.’s life happened when he met Ms. Kymerlyn Riley. T.J. and Kym hit it off immediately, and T.J. was eventually able to convince Kym to become Kym Collins. Kym and T.J. had the most beautiful wedding in Canyon Lake, Texas. T.J. was quick to make sure that everyone knew that Kym was the one responsible for every single detail related to the magical event. Kym and T.J. added the most adorable Golden Retriever, named Nyx, to their family and enjoyed a wonderful life together. T.J. was proud of his professional achievements, but he was far more proud of his very special soulmate, Kym.

T.J. was predeceased by his grandfathers, Hans Pfendert and Thomas Collins; grandmother, Mabel Collins; uncle, Trevor Collins; grandmother-in-law, Pearlene Higgins; and grandfather-in-law, McKinley Riley, Jr. 

Those left to cherish precious memories and honor his legacy include his loving wife, Kymerlyn Collins; his parents, Edward and Susan Collins; his sister, Kassidy Collins; his grandmother, Gerda Pfendert; his dog, Nyx Collins; his parents-in-law, Kendric and Kimberly Higgins; his sisters-in-law, Kieran Riley and Lilly Higgins; his brother-in-law, Braun Higgins; his grandmother-in-law, Diann Riley; his grandfather-in-law, Johnnie Higgins; and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.

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Celebration of Life
April 4, 2024

11:00 AM
Rockwall Friendship Baptist Church
5651 TX-276
Royse City, TX 75189

April 4, 2024

Restland Memorial Park
13005 Greenville Avenue
Dallas, TX 75243


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