DOROTHY Y. (WILTSE) COLLINS, 84, of Fort Wayne passed away Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at Regency Place. She was born September 23, 1923 in Inglewood, California to Daniel E. and Eleanor C. (Faccini Runswick) Wiltse.
With the coaching of her father, she excelled at sports at an early age. At the age of 12 she led her team to the Southern California Girl’s Softball Championship before a crowd of more than 25,000. She pitched for the Fort Wayne Daisies from 1945 to 1950. She retired with a lifetime ERA of 1.83.
In 1981 Dottie helped to organize the first exhibition game for former players which renewed interest in the league. Her determined efforts resulted in the All American Girl’s Professional Baseball League Players Association and the movie “A League of Their Own”. She was instrumental in getting the league recognized by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and had the privilege of opening the first Women in Baseball Display in Cooperstown.
She was also an avid bowler and golfer and won the Women’s City Golf Championship in 1971. She was a member of the Ladies of the Elks BPOE #155 where she won numerous golf championships and organized the Elks Youth Golf and Bowling Leagues during the 60’s and 70’s.
She was honored in 2005 when the book “Dottie Wiltse Collins – Strikeout Queen of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League” was published telling her life story.
Survivors include her daughter, Patricia (Michael) Tyler, grandsons, David (Stacy) Gilbert, John (Bethany) Gilbert and six great-grandchildren, all of Fort Wayne.
She was preceded in death by her son, Daniel S. Collins in 1983 and her husband of 53 years, Harvey L. Collins in 2000.
Service is 10 a.m. Saturday at D.O. McComb & Sons Lakeside Park Funeral Home, 1140 Lake Ave. Rev. Robert Petty officiating. Calling 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at the funeral home. Burial in Greenlawn Memorial Park.
Memorials to All-American Girls Professional Baseball League – Reunion Support Fund or Allen County Alzheimers Association.
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