There was a river of tears today at the funeral of radio and community legend E. Steven Collins at Bright Hope Baptist Church near Temple University led by the great Pastor Dr. Kevin R. Johnson. There’s too much to say so I’ll keep it brief.
Grown men sobbed. Congressman Chaka Fattah and State Senator Vincent Hughes affectionately shared stories about their long standing friendships. WDAS FM’s Patty Jackson read well wishes from the famous and the ordinary folk and her voice was like music.
His son’s Rashid and Langston Collins were a living reflection of the two sides of their father. The older brother Rashid was his serious side and the playful Langston who brought welcome laughter with funny anecdotes about his dad represented his expansive, outgoing personality.
He was known by his first initial – “E.” I’ve known him for almost all of my 30 years in Philadelphia radio. Often when people leave the business for whatever reason the waters quickly close behind them and in many cases they are soon forgotten. For me and all who knew and loved E. - there will be no forgetting. For us – there is a void - Something is missing knowing that he's no longer on this earth. For every young person he's mentored and advised and for every cause he has championed – E. Steven Collin’s life force was so powerful and his impact so great that he will be remembered long beyond his passing.