Walter E. Collins died April 27 in Gainesville, Va. after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 79.

Walter was born May 23, 1938, in Townsend. He graduated from Wheaton College in Illinois, received a master’s degree from Peabody College in Tennessee, and a Ph.D. from American University. He served in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps in the very early Vietnam War, and upon discharge became a lifelong pacifist. He was a school psychologist in Fairfax County, Va. and retired in 1993.

He spent summers in the Camp Ground in Oak Bluffs beginning in 1973. All who knew Walter knew that he was a friend of Bill. He was active at Grace Church for many years, and enjoyed singing in the community chorus. He won ribbons for his needlepoint designs at Ag Fairs and was also known for his beach plum jelly. He spent 10 years in Tucson, Ariz., where he worked with the Samaritan ministries to protect rights of migrants in the desert.

He leaves his wife of 51 years, Gretchen, of Gainesville, Va., and his children, Ted of Vineyard Haven, Jason of Quincy, Ill., and Marisol Gilbert of Haymarket, Va. He is also survived by six grandchildren and his sister Nancy Kinder of Moses Lake, Wash.

A memorial service will be held on May 19 at 11 a.m. at Grace Church in Vineyard Haven.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Walter can be made to Vineyard House, P.O. Box 4599, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.