Leroy Collins, Jr.

Leroy Collins, Jr., was killed on July 29th in Tampa, while riding his bicycle. On the early morning of July 29th, while riding his bicycle enroute to an early morning rowing workout in Tampa, LeRoy Collins Jr. was struck by an SUV and died at the scene. Roy was a stellar naval officer, public servant and small business entrepreneur who personified the values of integrity, honesty, and service to his fellow man.


Roy's Navy career included service aboard submarines USS Chivo and USS James Madison. He left active duty in 1966 and transferred to the Naval Reserve. While making his way in the civilian world, he achieved concurrently a remarkable record in the reserves including several reserve commands leading to assignment as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Reserve) for Logistics. He retired from the Naval Reserve in the rank of Rear Admiral in October 1990.


As an entrepreneur in electronic banking services, he was the founding President of Financial Transaction Systems, Inc. and also President of Telecredit Service Center, Inc. Roy's proudest achievement in business came with his presidency of the Armed Forces Financial Network providing ATM services on military bases world-wide. He retired from the business world in 2003 but carried on a very active life while serving the State of Florida as the Governor's appointee to several boards and commissions. He also served on the board of the Naval Academy Alumni Association.


In 2006, he ran as a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate but lost the race to a better financed candidate despite being the choice of the majority of Florida newspapers. As Roy stated, "the media liked me but not enough voters did". In 2007, he was appointed by Governor Crist to the cabinet position of Executive Director of the Florida Department of Veterans' Affairs where he was serving as a champion for veterans at the time of his death. Roy is survived by his wife of 51 years, Jane, two sons, two daughters, eight grandchildren and three sisters.


At the end of his campaign for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in 2006, he e-mailed the following to a friend. "It was said that my preoccupation with the issues was not near as important as fund raising - hell, the issues are the principal reasons I got in it in the first place." That was LeRoy Collins, or as one of his political advisors commented, "He had what most candidates brag about having - things like honesty, integrity, strong family values and a love for America . . . a passion for speaking the unvarnished truth . . . With Admiral Collins, what he projected was real."