ALBANY -- James Buford Collins, 95, of Albany died December 31, 2011 at Morningside Assisted Living in Albany.

The funeral service will be Tuesday January 3, 2012 11:00 AM at Kimbrell- Stern. The Rev. Jim McBride will officiate. The family will receive friends 1 hour prior to the service at Kimbrell-Stern.

Buford was born in Albany, GA on March 24, 1916 and moved with his family to Johnson City, Tennessee where he attended grammar school at East Tennessee Teachers College. At the age of fifteen his family moved back to Albany where he attended Albany High School. He was a graduate of Albany High School, Class of 1936, where he was Captain of the Varsity Football Team and was on the track team. He attended Middle Georgia College on a football scholarship for three years. While in college he was the 1937 South Georgia Golden Glove Champion -- Bantam Weight.

Buford served in the Army Air Force during World War II and the Reserve recall during the Korean War. At the completion of his duties in the military be returned to Albany where he was employed by Albany Coca Cola Co. for 48 years. He was Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem for the City of Albany from 1960-1972. He was also the 1972 Georgia Municipal Association President 2 District, on the Board of the Albany Chamber of Commerce, 1976 --1977, Chairman of Military Affairs for the Chamber of Commerce and on the Water, Gas & Light Commission City of Albany Utility Board from 1991 --1994. He received the Georgia Recreation Society Lay Award for 15 years of service as an athletic official of the Georgia High School Association. In 1988 he was an initial inductee into the Albany Sports Hall of Fame. Other honors include honorary member of the Air Force 4133 Bombardment Wing, 1978 United Way General Campaign Chairman, Dougherty County Stadium Authority and 1976 Outstanding Citizen by the Woodman of the World. Through the years Buford was known for his love of sports and has been an active supporter of Darton College from the 1966 ground breaking to the present.

He is survived by many cousins in Albany and South Carolina and was preceded in death by his parents J.F. (Frank) & Hattie Barnes Collins, his wife of 49 years Billie Speer Collins and his beloved dog, Herman.

Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society.

You may sign the online guest book and share your own special thoughts with the family of Buford Collins by visiting Kimbrell-Stern's website at

Kimbrell-Stern Funeral Directors

Albany 229/883-4152