Former Miss NJ Cara McCollum’s Obituary and Funeral Information
Here is Cara McCollum's obituary and the information on her funeral.
Services for the 24-year-old former Miss New Jersey will be Sunday at the First United Methodist Church in Forrest City, Arkansas, her hometown.
Cara died on Monday from injuries sustained in a car accident on Feb. 15.
There are plans for a memorial service in South Jersey, but they have not yet been released.
Here is a copy of Cara's obituary from the Stevens Funeral Home in Forrest City, Arkansas.
Obituary for Miss Cara Maureen McCollum
Miss Cara Maureen McCollum, age 24, of New Jersey, formerly of Forrest City, died Monday, Feb. 22, 2016, in Camden, New Jersey, with her family by her side. She died as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident on Monday, Feb. 15.
Cara was born Feb. 6, 1992, the daughter of Rick and Maureen McCollum of Forrest City.
She was a 2010 graduate and valedictorian of Forrest City High School. She was also named an Arkansas Times Academic All-Star in 2010. She was a 2015 graduate of Princeton University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in English, with a concentration in journalism. She joined SNJ Today in July 2015 and worked there as a lead anchor until her death.
While in high school, Cara was involved in numerous local projects and organizations including the Mustang Dance Team, FCHS Mustang Tennis Team, Student Council Representative, a member of the Beta Club, National Honor Society and Principal’s Club. She was also involved with the Delta Beta Sigma Sorority, serving in many roles including president and charity chairman. She was a member of the Youth Advisory Council of the St. Francis County Community Foundation, a long-time volunteer with SFC Elves and supporter of the Forrest City Humane Society. Cara was an active member of the First United Methodist Church where she served on the North East District Youth Council, played keyboard and sang in the Youth Praise Band “Grace Like Rain.”
Cara moved to New Jersey after graduation, attending Princeton University from where she earned her degree.
In 2013, Cara won the Miss Island Resort Pageant, which allowed her to participate in the Miss New Jersey competition, being crowned Miss New Jersey in 2013. Her platform, “Giving the Gift of Reading” promoted youth literacy through her nonprofit organization, “The Birthday Book Project,” an organization that gives gift-wrapped books to underprivileged children in kindergarten through fifth grades for their birthdays.
She represented New Jersey in the Miss America 2014 pageant. During her year-long reign as Miss New Jersey, Cara was named New Jersey Library Association Champion of the Year, as well as a Daily Points of Light winner for her advocacy of youth literacy. She also received numerous other awards and recognitions.
She was a member of the local P.E.O. Chapter BF, and Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority and University Cottage Club at Princeton, where she was also a cheerleader during her freshman year.
Cara is survived by her parents, Rick and Maureen McCollum of Forrest City; a brother, Derick McCollum of New York, formerly of Forrest City; her boyfriend Keith Jones and their puppy Charlie, along with numerous other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her paternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Frederick (Mary Allison “Tippe”) McCollum Jr., and her maternal grandparents, Patricia Halpin Graves and George R. Buckingham, and a special grandparent, Emma Lee “Dee” Boles.
Visitation will be held Friday and Saturday, Feb. 26 and 27, 2016, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the McCollum family home located at 926 N. Forrest St., in Forrest City.
A celebration of Cara’s life will be held at 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, at the First United Methodist Church in Forrest City.
A second memorial service is being planned in New Jersey and will be held at a later date.
The family asks that memorials be made to The Birthday Book Project, P.O. Box 411, Forrest City, AR 72336, or to a charity of the donor’s choice.
Stevens Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. To sign the online guestbook, visit stevensfuneralhome.net.