Marion Thomas (Tom) Collins, age 82, of Franklin, Tennessee, passed away on Tuesday, August 29, 2023, in Nashville. He is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Martha (Reed) Collins; his devoted children, son Stephen Collins (Robin), and daughter Katherine Collins Davis (Tom); his six much loved grandchildren, Ben Davis, Brady Davis, Cates Davis, Grace Collins, Emma Collins, and Julia Collins. In addition, he is survived by his sister, Carolyn Collins Webb (Bobby), his brother Mike Collins (Marva), his brother Steve Collins (Gail), and many nephews and nieces. He is preceded in death by his parents, Alice and Marion Collins.
Tom was born in Memphis, Tennessee. He graduated from Whitehaven High School where he was active in drama and speech programs as well as football, amateur radio, and photography. In 1959, he began his studies at Middle
Tennessee State University majoring in Political Science while continuing his interests in oratory and drama. In his later college years, inspired by his mentor and professor, Elwin “Wink” Midgett, he changed his career path to business and
accounting. Tom worked at night to pay college expenses, got married in 1962, and graduated from MTSU in 1964 with a Bachelor of Science in General Business. Mr. Midgett guided him to the University of Alabama where in 1965 he graduated with a Master of Arts degree in Accounting. After passing the CPA exam, he began his career with Price Waterhouse. He later served as Controller of several software related businesses, Chief Financial Officer at NLT Computer Systems Corporation, and was the Chief Operating Officer of Endata. In 1986, he founded Juris, a billing management software platform for law firms serving as President and CEO until 2004, then as Chairman until Juris was sold in 2007. After the sale of Juris, Tom began a new career as a writer and became a nationally recognized author. He wrote and published seven Mark Rollins mysteries, family biographies, and several short stories including stories about Applewood Manor in Asheville, North Carolina.
Collins was a business thought leader sharing his ideas and methods through his writing, mentorship, coaching, and speaking engagements. In his first book, The Language of Excellence, he shared his core principles for excellence. Tom received numerous awards and recognition over the years including being named one of the top 100 Global Technology Leaders by London publication CityTech and was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by Law Technology News. He served on advisory boards for various organizations which promote the use of technology for improved business performance and customer service.
Tom loved his wife, his children, his grandchildren, family, friends, and the grand dogs. He was extremely generous and held a strong belief in hard work, determination, trust, and he highly valued ethics and integrity in business. His favorite pastimes, to name a few, were researching and writing his books, anything involving computer work, and collecting wine and art. Tom’s legacy is vast and all those who worked with him, learned from him, and loved him will continue to carry forward his teachings and his leadership. As Tom said, “Excellence is the only sound strategy.”
A Celebration of Life will be held at Harpeth Hills Memory Gardens on Friday, September 22, 2023, at 1:30 pm with burial to follow. Visitation will be held at Harpeth Hills Memory Gardens beginning at 10:30am prior to the service.
Harpeth Hills Memory Gardens
9090 Highway 100, Nashville, TN 37221
Donations in honor of M. Thomas (Tom) Collins can be made to the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), which encourages understanding of free market business and economic principles, through a check to the MTSU Foundation Office of Development mailed to MTSU, PO Box 109, Murfreesboro, TN 37132 (note Fund #91528), or by contacting its director, Dr. Daniel J. Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.