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Final Thoughts About A Good Man

It's with a heavy heart we write about the passing of Mr. Joe Rackley. Over forty years ago, Joe and his wife, Anne founded the Collins Children's Home, where hundreds of children have been blessed with a loving refuge.

Joe was well-loved and respected. He had an honorable character and a big heart. For the many lives Joe touched, the loss is real but we are at peace knowing he is in heaven.

It was always a blessing to hear anecdotes from alumni who grew up at the Collins Home. For this post, I wanted to share a few of the tributes from past residents shared on Joe's Facebook page.

Joe and Anne Rackley

Endeavor to live so that when you die even the undertaker will be sorry. -Mark Twain

Words from the Closest to Joe...his wife, Anne

I am trying to find the right words...the best pic..the best way to express my thoughts and feelings right now. I am lost in my tears. As many of you already know, my Joe Rackley entered the Gates of Heaven Saturday afternoon (10/11/2020)

Our family physically loved on him as much as we could those last days, knowing the hour was soon coming that we would only be able to love him in our hearts. I am grateful to Kim, Mike, David and Matthew, DaLara, Matt, Kenzie, Nolan, Patricia, Alex,, Kathy, and friends who stayed by our sides to help care for him. I can’t imagine how we would have made it through some of those days without them and the loving care of Hospice of the Foothills.

I am trying to be brave as we plan Joe’s Celebration of Life. Your words of love and encouragement are getting me through these days. Your pics and memories are helping more than you know. Thank you. The picture above is one of our best memories I am holding in my heart right now. Thank you for loving us. God is collecting my tears. To God be the Glory...always.

A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives. -Jackie Robinson

Words From A Few Lives Joe Impacted

"The most influential father figure in my life went to be with Jesus today. When I was 8 years old, Joe and Anne made room for me and my siblings in their home when we had nowhere else to go. I will be forever grateful for the way he changed my future. I am who I am because of the love of Joe and Anne. Rest In Peace, Joe, you are loved." [Mary]

"One of the greatest men I ever knew went home to be with the Lord yesterday, Papa Joe Rackley. The co-founder of the Collins Children's Home. Joe had a big part in who I am today. In the 4 years, I lived at the Collins Children's Home, Joe taught me many fundamental ethics that I carry to this day. He will live on in the many children's lives he changed here on earth. I love you dearly Papa Joe. My deepest condolences go out to his loving wife, Mama Anne Chesnut Rackley. I love them both so very much." [Robert]

"There are no words! I am at a loss for an appropriate response. The depth of love I feel for Joe and Anne is indescribable and immeasurable. Joe allowed me to be myself and still loved me. He taught me everything from how to greet everyone coming to breakfast, to making a bed, eating peas, cutting grass, building a house, driving a tractor, engineering and critical thinking, and most importantly, loving God with all I have. If you ask me how I know something, I will likely tell you about Joe! I am not the best son, by any means, but he was the best father by every means. To me and so many others! As the memories flood in, I pray thanks be to God for Joe, his life, and his legacy!" [Brian]

A keen sense of humor helps us to tolerate the unpleasant, overcome the unexpected, and outlast the unbearable. -Reverend Billy Graham

Joe's Special Bond with the Collins Kids

The funny thing about names is that most of the time our given name doesn't even begin to highlight who we are. It's the names we're given after birth. When we get to hear the name son/daughter, brother/sister, husband/wife, father/mother, aunt/uncle, papa/grandma, etc..

It is amazing how those names specifically tell even more intimate details about who we are in life. Even more than that it tells stories about fulfillment, love, the faithfulness of God, family, growth, and prosperity. So while you will be remembered by your birth name, Mr. Joe D. Rackley Sr., you will also be remembered for so much more than that.

You will be remembered, especially to me, as Daddy Joe or Dad. One thing I know is that you held high importance to nicknames, giving all the kids at the Collin's Children's Home nicknames. You seem to create such a unique and special bond with each of us and would immediately come up with nicknames for us as soon as you met us.

But I always felt even more special because my nickname wasn't only Taterbug, there was an old song you would sing when you said it. Nothing made me happier.

And with each time you would sing, you helped a little, abandoned, heartbroken, little girl start to heal from the heartbreak and not feeling loved by my own father. Then when you and Mama Anne started pouring God into me, you provided me with everything that I needed to be whole again, to heal, to become the person that I am today.

Because I gained another name, Child of God, and the knowledge and wisdom you always poured was tucked away in my heart. I may have lost my way some here and there, but the devotions, the teachings, the love you gave always stayed with me.

To say thank you will never seem like enough. Thank you for being my dad, my provider, feeding me wisdom, for your kindness, for your discipline, teaching me independence, but most importantly for being a shining example of Kingdom. I will carry on everything you taught me to be the best daughter, sister, friend, wife, mother, and Kingdom citizen I can be. I love you Dad! Always and Forever, Taterbug

A long life may not be good enough, but a good life is long enough. -Benjamin Franklin

His Legacy Will Live On

When you love deeply, you grieve deeply and many are grieving the passing of this great man. Please continue to keep our entire Collins Home family in your prayers as we mourn the loss of Joe, but also celebrate the legacy he left behind.


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