Hurricane Katrina

Judy Collins, 57, Biloxi

Judy Collins' passion was people, and she loved to make them comfortable.

"She loved to entertain," said her sister, Jo-Ellyn Elliott of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. "She was a fabulous, fabulous cook, and a kind-hearted person."

Her best dish was duck ala orange.

"She made it on special occasions, especially for me," Elliott said. "I think it was her own recipe. She would just whip it up. She knew how to cook without a recipe. Everything turned out fabulous."

Judy retired from the insurance business and moved from Philadelphia, Pa., to Port St. Lucie, Fla., in 1996, because she liked the warm climate. There she met the man of her dreams, William Collins, and was married for the first time at the age of 48.

"She had waited for the right guy, and he finally came along," Elliott said.

The two of them later moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, to the Eagle Point subdivision on the Back Bay in Biloxi. Due to a fall down steps in 2001, Collins had trouble getting around, and when Katrina was coming she and William thought they would be safe in their home with their dog and pet bird. Judy and the dog died in the storm, Elliott said, and we "don't know what happened to the bird." >