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Pampa High School Class of 1955
One hundred sixty-five pounds of fancy footwork and twisted blue steel, a description of Eddie Gene Collum--along with generous, honorable, loving and patient, says it all.
Born October 9, 1936, to V. and Dena Collum. Ed, with brother Jack, grew up in Pampa on Williston Street where his mom, “Dean Dean” lives today.
Ed was born a “people person” elected to the PHS cheerleading squad and a member of the golf team. After graduation from PHS in 1955, Ed headed for North Texas State University in Denton. He married Sylvia Fletcher in 1957 and became a father to Eddie Kim in 1958. Ed won a scholarship to Texas Tech to study geology. He lost a semester after a “how did anyone survive that” accident between his motorcycle and a black Cadillac. Twisted Blue Steel #1 (wired jaws, metal plate in right arm and concussion.)
In 1961, Ed earned a B. S. Degree in Geology from West Texas State University and began working as a Geologist for an oil company. He and his pals took a trip to Colorado for Deer Hunting where Ed was shot and lost his right leg above the knee. Twisted Blue Steel #2
Ed put on his first prosthesis in January of 1962, became a dad to Karen Kay in February, and began his forty-year mission of counseling amputees.
Geology in the field was no longer an option, Ed opened a men’s clothing store in Sunset Center of Amarillo, Collum’s Traditional Shop. During those days, he was elected President of the Merchants Association, coached little league and was a cub scout leader.
In 1969, Ed became a single guy, closed Collum’s Traditional Shop and took the boards to become a stock broker leading to Vice President of Schneider Bernet & Hickman Brokerage Firm. Ed, brother Jack and Father V. Collum, started C & C Hydrocarbons in the seventies. Ed married “the greatest thing to ever happen to him” Phyllis Swank in 1972, becoming a phenomenal step dad to her son Todd.
The eighties saw Ed as Vice President and President of Tascosa Country Club Men’s Golf Association, as well as Board Member and Vice President of TCC.
In 1992, Ed had back surgery with instrumentation, bone harvesting and fusion. Twisted Blue Steel #3
In 1994, Ed suffered the tragic lost of his son, Eddie Kim.
Ed’s year was 1997, when he became a patient advocate for Aslan, a prosthetic and orthotic fitting and manufacturing corporation. Ed’s profound faith in Almighty God guides him in his work as a voice for persons in profound despair. Ed is a board member of the City of Amarillo Disabilities Commission, board member of Second Chance Foundation, a regional representative for the Amputee Coalition of America (responsible for four states), a member of the National Amputee Golf Association of American and Golf instructor of “First Swing Golf” for any physically-challenged person.
Ed lost his larynx and vocal cords to cancer in 2002. He now speaks with a prosthesis, for and to other “lost cord” patients. Twisted Blue Steel #4
What a guy . . .
Ed’s attitude: Be Positive-Don’t give up- I’ll help you anyway, anytime!