Sept. 7, 1926
Oct. 22, 2012
Willard “Willy” D. Watkins, 86, of Gomer, died at 11:29 a.m. Monday at Vancrest Healthcare Center.
He was born Sept. 7, 1926, in Gomer to Arthur and Cleo (Baumgardner) Watkins, who preceded him in death.
On Jan. 18, 1948, he married Betty Lou Conrad, who survives.
Other survivors include a son, Willard “Rodney” (Nancy) Watkins of Gomer; three daughters, Diana Barnt of Gomer, Mary Jane (Keaton) Vandemark of Spring Hope, N.C., and Sue (Jay) Grusenmeyer of Lima; eight grandsons, Trevor (Angie) Vandemark, Tyler (Boots) Vandemark and Dean (Christina) Vandemark of Spring Hope, Cory Barnt of Columbus, Jon Grusenmeyer of Columbus, Tod Grusenmeyer of New Orleans and Ethan and Travis Watkins of Gomer; and five great-grandchildren and one stepgreat-grandchild.
He was also preceded in death by a brother, Lester Watkins; and two sisters, Martha Ensler and Wilma Watkins.
Mr. Watkins was a 1944 graduate of Gomer High School and an Army veteran of World War II, serving in Germany and France. He was an avid Sprint race car fan, a lifetime member of the Gomer United Church of Christ and holder of the certificate for First Families of Allen County.
He was a retired farmer and member of the Plumbers and Pipefitters United Association 776. He retired in 1989 after working 20 years for G.L. Eagy Plumbing and Heating. He was a member of American Legion Post 96, Masonic Lodge 585 and was a 4-H advisor for 25 years for the Gomer Go-Getters. He also served two terms as Sugar Creek Township Clerk.
Funeral services will begin at 1 p.m. Thursday at Gomer United Church of Christ, the Revs. Brian Knoderer and Terri Barnes officiating. Burial will be in Tawelfan Cemetery, with graveside military rites conducted by the Delphos Veterans Council.
Friends may call from 2-8 p.m. today at Harter and Schier Funeral Home.
Preferred memorials are to The Gomer Welsh Society of N.W. Ohio, c/o Mary Agler, 4430 Ridge Road, Elida OH 45807; and Gomer United Church of Christ, 7350 Gomer Road, Gomer OH 45809.
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