October 21, 1925 – November 12, 2012
Helen Virgene “Gene” Watkins, 87, of Claremore passed away November 12, 2012.
Gene was born October 21, 1925 in Beardstown, IL, the daughter of William Guy and Helen (Ashcraft) Winston and was a graduate of Clark High School, Hammond, IN. She was a gymnast in school, enjoyed roller-skating, and was active in her church community. Throughout her life, her family was her center.
Gene met Andrew “Andy” Denton Watkins during World War II, and married him after the war ended, on November 9, 1946, in Hammond, IN. They just celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary. Gene was Andy’s partner through his military career after the war. She raised their four children and made home wherever the Navy sent them. They were stationed at Glenview NAS Illinois, Lincoln NAS Nebraska, Niagara Falls NAS New York, and Los Alameda NAS California. Upon Andy’s retirement from the Navy in 1962, they stayed on in Anaheim, CA, and Gene worked at the PennySaver. After Andy retired from his second career in 1974, they moved to Yucca Valley, CA, for several years. Then Andy and Gene spent several years working at the lodges in Death Valley, Zion, and Bryce National Parks, where Gene ran the registration desk. They retired again in the mid-1980s, and Andy and Gene settled in Las Vegas, which they made home and enjoyed everything Las Vegas had to offer. In 2006, they relocated to Claremore, OK, to be close to their daughters and enjoy their “greats” (great-grandchildren). Gene was at her best when she was surrounded by her children, grandchildren, and the greats.
Survivors include her husband, Andy Watkins, of the home; four children, Gary L. Watkins of Kenner, LA, Pamela J. (Charles) Ziriax of Claremore, Karen M. (Lewis) Capehart of Claremore, and Dennis A. (Theresa) Watkins of Las Vegas; nine grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; a brother, Bill (Glenida) Winston, Hammond IN; and a sister-in-law, Agnes Winston, Glendale AZ. She was preceded in death by her brother, Jack Winston, and her sister, Doris Juneau.
A graveside ceremony and interment will be held at 2 p.m., Friday, November 16, 2012, at the Wood Lawn Cemetery, Claremore, Oklahoma. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Wounded Warrior Project or the Salvation Army.
Friday, November 16, 2012 at 2:00 PM
Woodlawn Cemetery Claremore, OK
Born: Ocotber 21, 1925
Place of Birth: Beardstown, IL
Death: November 12, 2012
Place of Death: Claremore, OK