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Eugene Franklin Collins was born November 5, 1969 to Raymond and Martha Collins. Raymond and Martha owned and operated Collin's Flower House in Oxford. Gene, as Eugene was called, had a younger sister named Sarah. Raymond and Martha were very involved in their children's lives and saw to it the children experienced a very happy childhood. The entire family enjoyed vacations that included camping, fishing, hiking, and boating.

Gene's parents always taught their children to strive for excellence in every endeavor. Elementary school was a breeze for Gene. He attended Oxford High where he continued to excel in academics. He was exceptionally good at sports but he earned a well-deserved reputation as a "hot head." On the field of play he lost his temper quite often and was put out of more than a few games.

During his senior year he applied and was accepted for admission to several out of state colleges but he opted to attend the University of Mississippi. He graduated from Oxford High with honors and was very excited about experiencing the college life at Ole Miss.

The summer before he started college, Gene's parents were killed in a tragic boating accident. Gene was devastated but he knew he had to take care of his little sister. He decided not to attend college fulltime so he could take over the floral business. He didn't know much about how the floral business worked, but with determination and the help of a good friend of his late parents, he soon got the hang of it.

Gene managed the business well and watched over his sister until she went off to college. It took him longer than he ever thought it would, but he finally graduated Ole Miss with a degree in business. Gene was keenly interested in politics and saw the need for many changes in his hometown government. In 2008, he launched a campaign and was elected Alderman for the city of Oxford. He still holds that position.{jcomments on}

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