Cover photo for Elias "Fiddler" Collett's Obituary
Elias "Fiddler" Collett Profile Photo
1934 Elias 2024

Elias "Fiddler" Collett

June 13, 1934 — February 25, 2024

Elias Collett, 89, of Essie, KY, passed away on February 25, 2024. He was born on June 13, 1934 at his home in Essie, KY from Parents; Reverend John L. Collett and Phronia Morgan Collett.

He was proceeded in death by his Wife of 61 years, Virgie Collett, Brothers: Sheldon, Vernon, and Eugene Collett, Sisters: Mary Collett Napier and Gladys Collett Morgan. 

He is survived by his Daughter Patty Vance and Husband, Steve, of Roark, KY. Grandchildren: Derrick Howard (Natasha) of Beverly, KY, Erik Young (Hannah) of London, KY, and Zeb Vance of New York. Great Grandchildren: Lucas, Christopher, and Andrew Howard of Beverly, KY. Sisters: Helen Sizemore of Stinnett, KY, and Loretta Dixon (Cotton) of Avawam, KY. 

By occupation, Elias was a retired coal truck and log truck driver, having co-owned Collett & Collett Logging Co. He also worked for Sandy Fork Mining Company and the Leslie County Road Department. 

Elias was a member of the Jack's Creek Untied Methodist Church at Roark, KY.

He was lovingly known as "Fiddler" by his friends and co-workers. He was a self-taught musician, being able to play the banjo, guitar, mandolin, dobro, and fiddle. He especially loved playing music at church and benefit shows. Elias was an amazing musician and his love and talent of bluegrass music was well known in Southeastern Kentucky. He played in many bluegrass bands over the years, such as Salt Creek, Danny Terry & Friends, Coal Country Grass, Santa Maria Grass, Pine Mountain Grass, Sunrise Ridge, and the Red Bird Ramblers. Elias played on the Bluegrass Jamboree (Hazard television) for many years. He enjoyed playing at the Kentucky School of Bluegrass and Traditional Music in Hyden, KY, as well as The Osborne Brother's Hometown Festival, Hyden, KY. He loved playing at surrounding festivals such as: the Harlan Bluegrass Festival, Black Gold Festival, Honey Festival, Woolly Worm Festival, and Clay City. Elias had the great honor of closing a show at Renfro Valley and having an encore performance to a standing ovation.

Elias was a die-hard University of Kentucky basketball fan. He loved raising a garden, riding his side-by-side, watching his grandchildren and great grandchildren play basketball and baseball, going ginsenging, and he especially loved taking care of his dogs "Ole Bufford" and "Maggie".

Elias loved his family and loved playing bluegrass any chance he could. He loved playing with BK, The Creekers, and Kuzin's. He enjoyed recording bluegrass videos and sharing them on social media.

Elias Collett will be dearly missed but always remembered for his dedication to family and friends alike. May he rest in peace knowing that his love for music and generous spirit live on through those who were fortunate enough to know him.


Services to celebrate Elias's life will be held at the Dwayne Walker Funeral Home in Hyden on Thursday - February 29th at 1:00 PM with Rev. James Bowling, Jr. officiating.  Friends may call for visitation Wednesday, February 28, 2024 from 6:00-9:00 p.m. at the Dwayne Walker Funeral Home  The interment will follow the funeral service, Thursday, at the Collett Family Cemetery, Essie, KY

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Elias "Fiddler" Collett, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Thursday, February 29, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Walker Funeral Homes, LLC

155 Hickory Street, Hyden, KY 41749

The funeral service for Mr. Elias Collett will be conducted at 1:00 P.M. - Thursday - February 29, 2024 at the Dwayne Walker Funeral Home, 155 Hickory Street, Hyden, KY., with Rev. James Bowling, Jr. officiating. Friends may call for visitation from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. - Wednesday at the Dwayne Walker Funeral Home. The interment will follow at the Collett Family Cemetery at Essie KY.

Pallbearers: Donnie Collett, Martin Roark, Wayne Collett, Jamie Collett, Johnny Sizemore, Shannon Banks.
Honorary Pallbearers: Elias's nephews.

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