Born March 11, 1926 in Bloomington, he was the son of Frank H. and Bessie (Bingham) Watkins.
A veteran of the United States Navy, serving in the Philippines during World War II. Seaman First Class Watkins was awarded the Victory Medal, Asiatic Pacific Area Campaign medal, and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon. He was a farmer, having worked the land in the area all of his life. He worked for the railroad, Pioneer at Worthington and assisted with graves for Jenkins & Sons Funeral Home. Driving the school bus for Solsberry and Bloomfield school districts for 52 years, he got much enjoyment from all the children that rode his school bus.
He was a member of the American Legion Post 196 in Bloomfield, former trustee of the Worthington VFW, Odd Fellows, Elnora Conservation Club, former Greene County Surveyor, former Greene County Commissioner, Democratic precinct Committeeman, and the Director of Greene County Farm Bureau Inc.
Surviving relatives include: his wife, Virginia (McMurry) Watkins, whom he married May 6, 1989; four daughters, Nancy Ferguson and husband Sam of Ellettsville, Najean Judy and husband Todd of Plainfield, Natalie Watkins of Bloomfield, and Nyla Rose Hamilton of Valdosta, Georgia; one stepson, Charles Bennett and wife Cheryl of Bloomfield; one brother, Clyde (Brownie) Watkins of West Lafayette; two sisters, Delores Sullivan and Glapha Watkins both of Elnora; grandchildren, Laura Kay Watkins-Rose, Jason Ferguson, Matt Ferguson, Penny Flythe, Jenny McDaniel, Derrik Judy, Alex Judy, Justin Bennett, Keith Bennett, and Travis Roach; great, grandchildren, Megan Ferguson, Jacob Ferguson, Tyler Ferguson, Taylor Ferguson, Samuel Ferguson, Travis Ferguson, Katie Flythe, Jake Flythe, Brittney McDaniel, and Bradley A. McDaniel; one great, great, grandchild, Mallory Ferguson; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, Frieda Jeanette (Sullivan) Watkins in 1988, and one son, Nolan Gene Watkins in 1989.
Services will be conducted 11 a.m. Wednesday at Jenkins & Sons Funeral Home in Bloomfield, with Rev. Billy Ed Hostettler and Rev. Galen Judy officiating. Interment will be in Calvertville cemetery in rural Bloomfield.
Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday and one-hour prior to services Wednesday at the funeral home.
The family asks that all memorial contributions be made to Calvertville Cemetery in care of Jenkins & Sons Funeral Home.
Online condolences to the family are available at www.jenkinsfuneralhomes.com.