Watkins News

New News (updated December 15, 2015) Old Watkins News All the Watkins News That Fits 2000 KK & Tillie Watkins Reunion
Watkins Place Names Watkin or Watkins? Watkins in America: Jamestown Colony Words from the Editor
Email and Address Information Updates and changes to
family pages
Links Newsletters on Line




New Watkins News 

August 22, 2018: Ishbel Hall Lane has notified us of the birth of her daughter, Opal Bea Lindquist, on August 19, 2017. She is a great great great granddaughter of K.K. and Tillie Watkins. 

Young Opal is the granddaughter of Don Hall, great granddaughter of Vivian Mason Hall, and great great granddaughter of Opal Mason Watkins.


All the Watkins News That Fits

April 8, 2017: Joan Watkins Domeck was born on November 27, 1929 in Wauseon, OH, and died March 17, 2017 in Twinsburg. She was the daughter of Orra and Florence Bruner Watkins, and taught first grade in York Township until she began raising her family.

She is survived by sons Craig, Brian, and John, daughters Lynn and Lisa, brother Roger Watkins, and numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins. She was preceded in death by her husband Edwin Domeck, brothers Donald and Harold, and sister Rachel.

A complete obituary is on line at http://obits.cleveland.com/obituaries/cleveland/obituary.aspx?pid=184581726

December 24, 2016
: We have lost another of the Watkins cousins (grandchildren of K.K. & Tillie). Donald Orra Watkins, son of Orra and Florence (Bruner) Watkins, died on December 8, 2016 at age 89. He was a highly respected and honored educator in the New York City area and had lived for many years in Levittown, Long Island.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara Shelt Watkins, children Beth Sturman, Kurt Watkins, Thomas Watkins, Christopher Watkins; brother Roger, sister Joan Domeck, and many grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by a brother, Harold, and sister Rachel Ellis.

This link takes you to a very nice obituary from the New York Times: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/nytimes/obituary.aspx?pid=183072788


May 29, 2016: We are saddened to report the passing of Herbert John Hall Jr. ("Herbie J"), oldest son of Herb and Vivian Mason Hall, and grandson of George and Opal Watkins Mason.

Herbie J was born in Ohio April 25, 1944, and died May 24, 2016 in Oregon. He grew up in San Diego County CA, and lived most of his adult life in Takelma, Oregon. He had been in poor health for many years, but kept going. He was able to travel to Colorado Springs in 2015 for a reunion with his siblings and all but two cousins.

He is survived by his brothers, Jim (Gayle) of Missouri, Don (Diana) of Oregon, his sister, Diane of Oregon, and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

December 15, 2015: Two more of the Watkins cousins (grandchildren of K.K. and Tillie) have left us in recent weeks.

Richard Kimmel Watkins (Dick) was born September 7, 1923 to Dorr and Opal Richards Watkins, and died November 1, 2015. He is survived by eight children, Eloise Watkins Griteman, Pat Watkins Enrick, Anna, Karl, Ralph, Peggy, Jim and Ruth Watkins. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Evelyn Pittman Watkins, and two infant children, Carolyn and Robert.

The Reverend Harold Robert Watkins (Hal) was born July 30, 1928 to Orra and Florence Bruner Watkins, and died in early December 2015. He is survived by his wife of 65 years Evelyn Earlywine Watkins; two children, Mark and Nancy Jo; two brothers, Don and Roger, and a sister, Joan. He was preceded in death by his parents and by a sister, Rachel Watkins Loar Ellis.

Both men are survived by numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, cousins, nephews and nieces.


April 16, 2015: We are late in welcoming a new member of the 4th great grandchild generation, Jack Morgan Upshaw, born October 8, 2014 to Johnny and Brittany Upshaw of Clovis, CA. He was also welcomed by big brother Colton, who turned two in December. He is the grandson Teri Liddle and great grandson of Dick Estel.


On a sad note, we have two recent deaths to report:

Robin Gillet Watkins, youngest son of Ron and Pauline Gillet Watkins, died on March 22, 2015. He is survived by his wife, Renee (Aukland), his sisters Ellen Hurlock and Lois Warden, and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was born on May 6, 1955, and lived in Athol, Idaho. He was a computer technologist, and in the words of his family, a super hero.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and his brother Ryan.


Rachel Watkins Loar Ellis died on April 16, 2015 at age 94 in Tucson, AZ. 

She was born in Fulton County, Ohio. She attended Toledo University and Heidelberg College. She was married to the Rev. Alton Loar until his death in 1977 when they were living in Stow, Ohio where he served as the pastor of the Community Church of Stow UCC. They had also lived in parsonages of congregations in Illinois, Wisconsin and Sandusky, Ohio. In 1980 she married Robert Ellis, who survives her.

She was active in numerous local and wider church activities in all the settings where she lived. She was in the first group of teachers hired in the 1960's for Head Start in Sandusky. She served as the activities director through the Red Cross at the Ohio Veterans Home in Sandusky and as an elementary school librarian in Stow.

She is survived by her son, the Rev. David Loar, wife Martha and children Kate and Molly; son Phillip Loar, wife Amy and children Karen and Graydon; daughter Ann Loar Brooks and Steven Brooks and children Audrey, Gifford and Catherine; and siblings Don Watkins, Hal Watkins, Joan Domeck and Roger Watkins. She was preceded in death by her parents Orie and Florence Watkins and her first husband the Rev. Alton Loar.

In the words of Ann, "She had a quick wit, a memory to beat a computer, and a deep and abiding faith."

Memorials may be sent to the Zambian Children's Fund, PO Box 42996, Tucson, AZ 85733. http://www.zambianchildrensfund.org/ 

January 26, 2013
: We have received belated word of the passing of Jeannette Watkins Wittekindt, who passed away July 2, 2012 at the age of 92. She had spent her final two years living with her son Neil and wife Pamela, in Glendale AZ.

Jeannette was preceded in death by her husband Roy in 2007. In addition to Neil she is survived by sons John (Mary) and Alan (Kathryn); seven grandchildren, and many great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins.


December 24, 2012Johnny and Brittany Morris Upshaw are delighted to announce the arrival of Colton James Upshaw, born at 8:59 p.m. on December 12, 2012 (12/12/12), the newest great, great, great, great grandchild of K.K. & Tillie Watkins.

The Watkins lineage: Son of Johnny Upshaw; grandson of Teri Estel Liddle; great grandson of Dick Estel; great, great grandson of Hazel Mason Estel; great, great, great grandson of Opal Watkins Mason.


February 14, 2012: We are saddened to learn of the death on February 9 of Gloria Watkins Samuelson of Surprise AZ. She was born January 30, 1930, to Earl and Junice Manes Watkins, one of the five youngest of K.K. & Tillie Watkins' 23 grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers, a sister; her husband, Dale Samuelson, and her first husband, John Miller. She is survived by a sister, Jeanettte Wittekindt, and two daughters, Margaret Meister of Surprise, and Jean Beaumart, as well as many grandchildren, great grandchildren and cousins.

She was suffering from dementia and had just been admitted to a group home, where she had a stroke and died the next morning. Her liver was accepted for transplant, setting a record for the oldest ever accepted in Arizona.

Gloria spent much of her adult life in Omaha NE, where memorial services were held. She and Margaret moved to Arizona in the 1990s, as did her sister, Jeanette.


Dick Watkins has welcomed a new great, great grandchild, James Xavior Edwards, born December 24, 2011, to James and Amanda Keeser Edwards. Amanda is the daughter of Dennis and Nancy Keeser, and the granddaughter of Virgil Kulp and Eloise Watkins Griteman. Amanda and James Cleon Edwards were married April 10 2010.


February 12, 2012: Another catch-up on births and marriages, all in the Mason clan.

Marcus Teets, son of Harry and Nancy Teets and grandson of George and Opal Mason, was married to Julia Kilcer in September 2010. After a delayed but extensive honeymoon to various parts of Asia, including a climb part way up Mt. Everest, the couple resides in New Hampshire, where she is a nurse and he is a fireman.

Harry and Nancy welcomed a new grandson, Evan Christopher, born to Marcie and Stephen Riley September 13, 2011.

Lance Elston, son of Bill and Darlene Elston and grandson of George and Opal, and wife Elizabeth, welcomed a daughter, Turner Elizabeth, one year ago today. And Lance's brother Josh and wife Kristi added a third child and first son, Caleb Joshua, on March 25, 2011. This makes a total of eleven grandkids for Harry and Nancy.


January 29, 2011: Meredyth Leona Watkins Nott was born to Dorr and Opal Richards Watkins on January 28, 1934, and died August 31, 2010. She is survived by Jim, her husband of 48 years; two sons, Gregory and wife Tammy, and Philip and wife Karina; two grandsons, Graham and Andrew; her brother, Dick Watkins, and many cousins, nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, and by brothers Homer and Dwight; and sister Luella.

Meredyth had bravely battled cancer for several years.

Along with several of her cousins, Meredyth was instrumental in organizing the series of Watkins Reunions held in the 1990s, and was always focused on helping family members keep in touch.


October 28, 2009: Herbert Dwight Watkins, 86, died September 18, 2009 at the Mission (Texas) Nursing Home with his daughter Jo Ann by his side.

Herb was born June 22, 1923 in Delta, Ohio to Ross and Gartha Fern Sheffield Watkins.

After high school, Herb studied at Johnson Bible College to become a minister of the gospel. On September 1, 1944, Herb married Carolyn Beach, and they became parents of five children.

He served Church of Christ/Christian Church congregations in Ohio and Michigan from 1946 to 1960.

In 1960, the family moved to the border town of Eagle Pass, TX to work at Colegio Bíblico ( Bible College) to help prepare native workers for Mexico. Many summers he went on mission trips into Mexico, and he took along his students so they could put into practice what they had learned in class. He also did mission work in Central America, South America (Chile), and Russia.

In 1989, they moved to Hays, Kansas, where he served as minister. But Herb longed to be close to Mexico, so in 1992 he and Carolyn moved to Mission, Texas where he was an elder in the church. He also did substitute preaching, sang and preached in nursing homes, and continued to take mission trips into Mexico.

Herb was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Carolyn, in 2004. Survivors include sons: David (Sue) Watkins of Acton, Indiana, Philip (Nelly) Watkins of Palmhurst, Texas, and Tim (Ruth) Watkins of Mission, Texas; daughters: Jo Ann Watkins of Mission, Texas, and Amy (Patrick) Neal of Ajo, Arizona, and 14 grandchildren.


January 10, 2009: We're catching up on a few births within the widespread Watkins clan.

Emily Jade Riley was born to Stephen and Marcy Teets Riley on May 14, 2008. Emily is a granddaughter of Harry and Nancy Drefke Teets; great granddaughter of the late Lnora Mason Drefke, and great, great granddaughter of Opal Watkins Mason.

Lydia Rose Makula was born on August 21, 2004, to Dennis and Dawn Makula. Lydia is a granddaughter of the late Luella Watkins Makula, and a great granddaughter of Dorr and Opal Richards Watkins.


December 28, 2008: Luella Joy Watkins Makula was born January 4, 1929, in McClure OH, and passed away December 5, 2008 at her home in Archbold OH. Luella was one of five children born to Dorr and Opal Richards Watkins. She was married to Edwin Makula, who died in 1990. She had been a school teacher in Waldron MI.

She is survived by two sons, Doug and his wife Jeanne of Claypool IN; and Dennis and wife Dawn of Blissfield MI; a brother, Richard Watkins of Archbold, and a sister, Meredyth and her husband Jim Nott of Fort Wayne IN; as well as ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Burial was December 13 in Waldron Cemetery.


October 3, 2008: Ryan Watkins, age 57, and his wife, Wasana, were killed in an automobile accident in Thailand September 18. Their two daughters, ages six and three were at home at the time. A 7-day Buddhist funeral ceremony was conducted for the couple.

Ryan was the son of the late Ron and Pauline Gillet Watkins, and the grandson of Ross and Fern Sheffield Watkins. He was born October 10, 1950.

August 21, 2008: Evelyn Gae Watkins, 84, of Archbold, OH, was born April 15, 1924 in McClure OH, to Jewell (Johnson) and Francis Pittman; and died Thursday evening, Aug. 14, 2008, at Fairlawn Haven Nursing Home in Archbold. 

She married Richard "Dick" Watkins, son of Dorr and Opal Watkins, on Dec. 10, 1944.

She received a bachelor's degree in education from Bowling Green State University in 1969. She taught first grade through high school at Wauseon, Pike-Delta-York and the Career Center. She later worked at Campbell's Soup in Napoleon and Sauder Village in Archbold. In retirement, she and her husband led mission work camps for the United Methodist Church and also conducted tours for retirees under the name Dick Watkins Tours.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by three sons, Karl (and wife, Jo) Watkins of Mason City, Iowa, Ralph Watkins of Silver Spring, Md. and Jim Watkins of Bryan; five daughters, Eloise (and husband, Robert) Griteman of Liberty Center, Anna Watkins of Albuquerque, N.M., Peg Watkins of Delaware, Pat Watkins of Kent and Ruth Watkins of Berkeley, Calif.; 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; infant son, Bobby; infant daughter, Carolyn; a brother, Bernard Pittman; and twin sister, Marilyn Mae.

Interment was in the Hockman Cemetery in McClure.

(From the Bryan Times)

June 28, 2008
: Johnny Dale Upshaw and Brittany Adel Morris were married in Fresno, CA, on June 20, 2008. Johnny is the oldest great, great, great grandchild of K.K. and Tillie Watkins, and is a great, great grandson of Opal Watkins Mason, great grandson of Hazel Mason Watkins, and grandson of Dick Estel. His parents are Tim and Teri Estel Liddle of Fresno. Brittany is the daughter of Tim and Jennifer Dennis Morris.

Brittany will be teaching at a school in Sanger, near Fresno, while Johnny will start the master's program in forensic anthropology at California State University, Fresno.

December 17, 2007: Roy Henry Wittekindt was born April 4, 1914, and passed away December 11, 2007, in Glendale AZ. He had been in poor health for some time. Roy worked for many years as a chemical engineer for the Quaker Oats Company, traveling throughout the world in the course of his work.

Roy and Jeannette (daughter of Earl and Junice Watkins) traveled extensively following his retirement, spending four months a year in Texas and Mexico. In 1987 they sold their home in Downers Grove IL and lived full-time in their travel trailer, visiting many areas of the US, Canada and Mexico. In 1991 they bought a home in Glendale AZ, and eventually "retired" from trailer travel.

Roy is survived by Jeannette, his wife of 66 years; three sons, John, Neil and Alan and their families; and many grandchildren, nieces, nephews and other friends and relatives.

August 4, 2007
: Hazel Doris Mason Estel was born December 25, 1917, in Fulton County, Ohio, to George and Opal (Watkins) Mason. She passed away August 1, 2007 in Fresno CA, at age 89. She grew up in Metamora near the Michigan state line, where she graduated from high school. On April 12, 1938, she was married to Robert William (Bob) Estel, of Ai in Fulton County. One week later they left for Mariposa CA, where they spent the rest of their lives.

During the first 20 years of their marriage she was a homemaker, the first seven years without electricity. She and Bob helped start 4-H clubs in Mariposa County, and were founding members of the Bootjack Stompers Square Dance Club. They were still dancing when the club celebrated its 50th anniversary!

Bob worked for a plumbing, sheet metal and electrical contractor, buying out the electrical part of the business when his employer retired. At this point, Hazel became the bookkeeper and retail "sales force" for the business, which they operated for 20 years.

In retirement Hazel and Bob spent many summers in Ohio, renewing their acquaintance with friends and extended family. About 1985 they began spending winters in Mesa AZ, where three of Hazel's Ohio-born cousins had relocated. During their early retirement years they were also active in raising money for and helping to build the Senior Activity Center in Mariposa. When cooking lost its joy, they visited the center for lunch nearly every day.  

Following Bob's passing in March, 2005, Hazel was able to remain in their home in Mariposa, going to the center for lunch, participating in the activities of the Mariposa United Methodist Church, and other social activities with her many friends in the area.

Hazel was preceded in death by her husband Bob in 2005, and by three sisters and two brothers. She is survived by two children, Richard Estel of Fresno, and Linda Estel and her partner Anne Tellett of Duluth MN; two granddaughters, Theresa and husband Tim Liddle of Fresno, and Jennifer and husband Rod Neely of Oakhurst; two great grandsons, Johnny Upshaw and his fiancée Brittany Morris, and Michael Liddle; and numerous cousins, nephews and nieces.

A private burial service was held at the Mariposa Cemetery on August 8. A celebration of her life was held at the Mariposa United Methodist Church on Saturday, August 11.

A tribute to Hazel will be found at http://www.dickestel.com/hazelestel.htm  


May 1, 2007: Jo Ann Watkins, daughter of Herb, advises us that he is living in an assisted living home in McAllen, Texas. It's called Biltmore Assisted Living. If people would like to contact him, they could do so by sending their letter (card, etc.) to her, since she goes to visit him every day.

Her address: Jo Ann Watkins 2213 E. 28th St. Mission, TX 78574 (956) 580-2826 jowatkins@rgv.rr.com  


April 29, 2007: We have received word that Ron Watkins passed away March 27, 2007, in Thailand, where he has lived for a number of years. Ron was born April 30, 1920, and practiced as a chiropractor for many years in Canada, the United States, and Thailand.

He is survived by his son Ryan of Thailand, daughters Ellen and Lois of Ontario, Canada, son Robin of Idaho; a brother, Herbert; and by a number of grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Pauline, and his parents, Ross and Fern Watkins.


January 24, 2007: (From Darlene Drefke Elston, daughter of Carl & Lnora): We have welcomed two more to the Elston crew! 

On November 6, 2006, Analiese Elizabeth Bellows, 8 pounds, 7 oz and 21 1/2 in long, was born to Kristen and Christopher Bellows.

On December 9, 2006, Joshua Elston married Kristi Kay Pernell of Hickory, NC.  Joshua is getting his Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of North Carolina and will graduate in May of 2007.  He then will enter the air force in June, where he will be for the next three years.


December 12, 2005: Herbert John Hall Sr. died on Friday, November 4, 2005, at his home in Lake Elsinore CA. The cause was heart failure. He was preceded in death by his wife, Vivian Mason Hall, in 1990.

Herb was born in Ohio on July 20, 1917 to Ralph and Marion Clark Hall. He served in the Navy as an aircraft mechanic in World War II, and survived the sinking of his ship, the USS Hornet.

Herb is survived by his daughter, Diane, of Lake Elsinore; son John; son Don and his wife Diana of Oregon, and son Jim and his wife Gayle of Missouri. He is also survived by 15  grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was buried at National Cemetery in Riverside CA., on November 14. 

See the Hall family genealogical descendant chart at: http://www.dickestel.com/Watkins/dec_herb&viv.pdf


April 11, 2005: Robert William (Bob) Estel was born June 13, 1914 in Fulton County, Ohio, to Frank and Mabel (Clifton) Estel. He passed away March 17, 2005 in Mesa AZ, at age 90.

Bob is survived by his wife, the former Hazel Mason (daughter of George & Opal); two children, Richard Estel of Fresno, Linda Estel and her partner Anne Tellett of Duluth MN; two granddaughters, Theresa and husband Tim Liddle of Fresno, and Jennifer and Rod Neely of Oakhurst; two grandsons, Johnny Upshaw and Michael Liddle; and numerous cousins, nephews and nieces.

A tribute to Bob will be found at http://www.dickestel.com/bobestel.htm 

December 20, 2004: Harry and Nancy (Drefke) Teets saw their crop of grandchildren increase by three this year. Son Micah and his wife Lisa became the parents of twin boys, Griffin Carl and Brandon Thomas, on August 18. On October 11 daughter Molly and husband David Harris welcomed Sarah Lynn to the family. Nancy is the daughter of Lnora Mason Drefke and granddaughter of Opal Watkins Mason.

August 16, 2004: James D. Watkins (son of Dick & Evelyn) received a Master of Public Health degree on August 7 2004 from Bowling Green State University.

Karen Loar, daughter of Phil and Amy Loar (granddaughter of Rachel and great granddaughter of Orrie) graduated from high school in Falls Church, VA and will be attending James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA.

Tim Watkins, son of Herb, grandson of Ross, writes: "My oldest son, Joshua, auditioned with his euphonium (baritone-type horn) and placed in the Sound of America honor band and chorus. They have traveled all over Europe in the month of July. He gets back to the US on July 26th. The group played 11 or 12 concerts in some of the best-known halls in Europe (Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and France).  He will be a senior this year at Sharyland High School.  Also of note about Joshua, he is the first male student from Sharyland to place in the Texas All-State Choir ever. There was a girl back in the 80s that made it, but never a male."

July 23, 2004: A mini-reunion took place July 3 at the home of Kim and Donna Watkins in Brian OH. Aside from Dick Estel and grandson Mikie Liddle, who were on a cross-country trip from California, those attending were mainly  descendents (and their spouses) of Dorr and Opal Watkins. They included Jim & Meredyth Nott, Dick & Evelyn Watkins, Louella Makula, Greg, Tami, Graham and Andy Nott; Peg Watkins, Bob & Eloise Griteman, Kim & Donna Watkins, Ruth Schiming (Donna’s mother), Dennis, Dawn, Levi & Josiah Makula; Ann Short, and Doug & Jeanne Makula (click here and here for photos).

Erica Balazs, daughter of Peg Watkins, and granddaughter of Dick and Evelyn Watkins, graduated from Rutherford B. Hayes High School in Delaware OH in June.

Christopher Brendan Enrick, son of Robert and Pat Watkins Enrick and grandson of Dick and Evelyn Watkins, graduated from Kent Roosevelt High School in June.

June 8, 2004: Margaret Meister reports: "Jean Reeson is now a grandmother and Gloria Watkins Samuelson is a great-grandmother for the fourth time. 

Olivia Claire Kvols was born January 8, 2004 to Megan and Scott Kvols. She weighed in at 8 lbs and measured 21 inches. Since I'm so late getting this to you, she's already spoiled rotten!

Also wanted to let you know that my son Bob Meister is currently serving in Afghanistan. He comes home Aug.1 but then has to go back at the end of Sept. for 6 more weeks." 

May 28, 2004: Patty Leary, daughter of the late June (Mason) Noever, has received a MBA degree, with an emphasis in entrepreneurship from San Diego State University.

Also in May, Jennifer Neely completed work for a teaching credential. Jennifer is the daughter of Dick Estel, granddaughter of Hazel (Mason) Estel, and hopes to teach 5th grade.

June 13, 2004: Family members and friends gathered at the home of Bob and Hazel Estel in Mariposa CA to salute Bob on his 90th birthday. Family members present included wife Hazel, children Dick and Linda, granddaughters Teri Liddle and Jennifer Neely, grandsons Johnny Upshaw and Mikie Liddle, sons-in-law Rod Neely and Tim Liddle, and Linda's partner, Anne Tellett. Also joining Bob were Marion and Addie Merrill and their daughter, Susan. Bob's and Marion's fathers were boyhood friends in Ohio in the early 1900s.

January 28, 2004: Our cousin Anna (daughter of Dick & Evelyn Watkins) publishes a monthly newsletter. To subscribe or see back issues, click here.

January 21, 2004: We received the following from Tim Watkins: "I probably ought to let you know that my Mom (Carolyn Jean Beach Watkins) passed away Monday morning (1/12/04). The best thing was that all her kids that live close were able to be with her when she did pass. Her brother, Jerry Beach, from up in Michigan was also here. We are saddened, but also happy for her. She had been diagnosed a couple of weeks ago with her 4th type of cancer (the 6th occurrence of cancer -- two of the cancers came back and had to be treated a second time). Hospice came in last week and took really good care of her, making sure she was not in pain. I think it would have been much harder for us to see her last week had she been in pain."

Carolyn is survived by her husband Herb (son of Ross and Fern), children David, Phillip, Jo Ann, Timothy, and Amy, as well as a number of grandchildren.

March 1, 2003: Only ten days after his wife June (Mason) died, Jim Noever passed away on Thursday, Feb. 13th, 2003. Stepdaughter Katie reports: "Shauna and I had a wonderful visit with him the day prior. He asked a million questions about how everyone was doing and he looked so peaceful. All the stress was gone from his face and he had stopped crying over my mom. He was not eating and after the news of my mom, did not want to live. I have never seen anyone in so much pain over a broken heart than him. It was the saddest thing that I have ever witnessed. 

Thanks for all your support, prayers and love, Katie"

February 27, 2003: Alice June Mason Noever died February 3 at age 74 in Florida at around 11:20 AM EST, 8:20 AM PST. She died of a sudden abdominal aneurysm. She was in the hospital for about 14 hours and was given morphine to ease her pain. She drifted in and out of consciousness during her last hours. Her daughter, Mary and son-in-law, Lou were with her the whole time. Over the last week, she mentioned to Mary that she loved her husband Jim and had had a very good life with him. Mary said she was a real sweetheart this last week as she moved away from Jim for the first time in 40 years to begin an assisted retirement in the Palm Beach, Florida area, 10 minutes from Mary's house. Mary said that she was very happy and optimistic about the move.

In addition to her husband Jim, who is in an assisted living facility in southern California, June is survived by three daughters, Mary of Jupiter FL, Patti of San Diego, and Katie of Aliso Viejo, CA; two granddaughters, Elizabeth DeFilio (Mary's daughter) and Shauna Leary (Katie's daughter); her sister, Hazel Estel of Mariposa CA, and a number of nieces and nephews. June was the daughter of George and Opal Watkins Mason.

December 5, 2002: Richard (Dick) Watkins returned home shortly before Thanksgiving after suffering a stroke in October. He spent several weeks in a rehabilitation center in Montpelier, OH. He is in good spirits and his speech is close to normal, but he has trouble with his balance. The entire clan sends him our best wishes.

November 24, 2002: The following report was received from Linda Insley: My daughter Heather passed the Ohio bar exam and is now a practicing attorney with Drake, Phillps, Kuenzli, and Clark and Assoc. of Findlay, OH.  Also my oldest son, Jason got married Oct. 5, 2002 to Kendra Glauser. (Linda is descended from K.K.'s cousin Nancy, and is also related by way of the Blake and Richardson line.)

May 18, 2002: Ryan Watkins and wife Wasana welcomed Gillian Gayle Watkins. Wasana is Thai, and the family lives with Ryan's father, Ron, in Chonburi, Thailand. Gillian is a great grandchild of Ross and Fern Watkins.  

January 27, 2001: Robert John Meister married Kristen Elizabeth Welch in Colorado Springs, CO on January 27, 2001.  They currently reside in Odenton, MD. Robert is the son of Margaret Miller Meister, and a grandson of Gloria Watkins Samuelson.

April 13, 2002: Kevan Donald Reeson married Laura Johnson April 13, 2002 in Columbus, Nebraska.  They currently reside in Giltner, NE. Kevin is the son of Jean Miller Reeson, and a grandson of Gloria Samuelson.

September 23, 2002: Maxwell Scott Wilson was born today at 1:30 p.m.  Mother (Julie), baby and Dad (Scott) who delivered the baby, are doing well!  Max weighed in at 10 pounds, 12 ounces, and 23 inches long.  He's a whopper!  Already too big for newborn sized clothes!

Emma, age 4, upon being told of her new brother, cried.  She said already had a brother!

Max is the grandson of Margaret Meister, great grandson of Gloria Samuelson, and great great grandson of Earl and Junice Watkins.  

July 6, 2002: Karina Grubb and Phil Nott, son of James and Meredyth and grandson of Dorr and Opal Watkins, were married today in Angola, Indiana. The ceremony was followed by a buffet dinner at a lodge in a nearby state park. Phil is a deputy sheriff and lots of his co-workers were there, a few in uniform, so everyone was well behaved. 

December 31, 2001: We are sorry to report the passing of Lnora Drefke. She had been in a residential care center, but was in good physical health until she began experiencing breathing difficulties around Christmas time. 

Lnora was the 3rd child of George Mason and Opal Watkins, born August 22, 1920. Two brothers died in childhood; a younger sister, Vivian Hall, passed away in 1990. Her husband, Carl, died in 1983. 

She is survived by daughters Nancy Teets of Michigan and Darleen Elston of Texas and sisters Hazel Estel and June Noever of California. In addition she is survived by ten grandchildren, five great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

November 4, 2001: Kristen Eileen Elston was married to Christopher Timothy Bellows on October 20, 2001, in Galveston TX. Kristen is the daughter of Bill and Darlene Drefke Elston, and granddaughter of Lnora Drefke.

September 5, 2001: The newest great great great grandchild of KK and Tillie is Grace Elizabeth Harris, born August 9, 2001, to David Harris and Molly Teets Harris. Grace is the second granddaughter and third grandchild for Harry and Nancy Drefke Teets, a great granddaughter of Lnora Drefke, and great great granddaughter of George and Opal Watkins Mason. 


(Items below here were posted 7/28/01)

Peg Watkins has a new job, as Director of Admissions & New Student Recruitment at Methodist Theological School in Ohio, in Delaware OH.

Megan Rae Reeson, granddaughter of Gloria Samuelson, was married to Scott Kristian Kvols in West Point, NE, January 6, 2001.

Ishbel Hall (daughter of Don, granddaughter of Vivian) and her husband Kin Lane welcomed a daughter, Khia Mhairi Lane, born September 7, 2000. She has a six year old brother, Jaden.

Watkins descendants who have escaped from winter enjoyed a couple of mini-reunions in Arizona. In mid-February Dick Estel, daughter Teri and grandson Michael Liddle visited Bob and Hazel Estel in Mesa for a week. They were joined for an afternoon visit and lunch by Roy and Jeanette Wittekindt, Gloria Samuelson, and Margaret Meister.

The following week Jim & Meredyth Nott arrived, after visiting friends and relatives in California.


Old Watkins News

Introduction: Sorting through the many cards, letters and newspaper clippings that my mother, Hazel Mason Estel, left behind, I often find items about other members of the Watkins family. Those that are of greatest interest will be posted here:

From the Delta Atlas of 1968 "From Our Files – 40 Years Ago (1928)":

O.L. Watkins, county auditor; G. W. Lee, deputy auditor; W.A. Tappan, Edwin Russell and M.A. Batdorf, county commissioners, escaped death when the front end of their car was hit by a B&O train in Haskins, dragging it along the tracks.

11/17/07 Update from Don Watkins: I was an infant in 1928, a little more than a year old when the train hit the car. I remember even from that early age that something very bad happened. There was much crying. Of course, we heard about it more than once in the following years and drove past where it happened.


2000 KK & Tillie Watkins Reunion

Here's the report from the 2000 KK Watkins Reunion, held July 2000 at Moore Park in Bryan, Ohio.

It was a lovely day, a nice location, but a small turnout. Here's the whole list:

Hal & Evelyn Watkins

Gloria Samuelson and her daughter Margaret Meister

Jim & Meredyth Nott and their two grandsons, Graham & Andy

Dick & Evelyn Watkins, Anna, Peg, Jim, Eloise & Bob Griteman, Amy & Christian

Kim Watkins, Ann & Jeff Short, and Courtney Cable

Luella Makula, Doug Makula, Dennis & Dawn Makula, and four of their kids

The first cousins that were present decided that this should be the last reunion of the KK Watkins family. We suggest that new reunions could be formed for the Earl, Orra, Opal, Ross, and Dorr Watkins families. Our treasurer, Margaret, gave the $50 in the reunion fund to Dick Watkins to send to Dick Estel for his greatly appreciated work in publicizing KK Watkins family news and information.

We hope that the cousins can also maintain contact with each other by e-mail, and encourage everyone to take advantage of any opportunity to visit each other when traveling.

(Recorded by Dick Watkins)


Watkins Place Names

Members of the Watkins genealogical mailing list reported on Watkins place names throughout the United States. A Watkins is found in 14 states (2 in Montana) plus a Watkins Bridge in Alabama, Watkins Corner in Arkansas and Virginia, Watkins Ford Illinois, Watkins Gate, CA, and Watkins Glen in NY, Watkins Mill, North Carolina and two Watkins Park, one in Indiana and one in Tennessee.

There are two Watkinsvilles, one in Georgia and one in Kentucky.

Almost as widespread as our family!


Watkin or Watkins?

(The following question and answer appeared on the Watkins Email Exchange List (http://www.watkins.org/)

Looking at the copy of the 1841 census from Glamorgan that I have, I came to a question. I hade been looking for names under "Watkins" and found none. That puzzled me. I now noticed that the names I wanted are listed under "Watkin" (no "S"). But all other info I have since that generation on down is spelled with the "S", including info on the names I was looking for on the census. My question is this, did they change the spelling of their name sometime back in the 1800s, or is the way they are listed on the census just not quite correct? And should I always be looking up stuff with and with out the "S"?

I'm some what new at this family research stuff, thanks in advance for any help.

(Reply from a UK source): According to my Welsh name book, Enwau Cymraeg I Blant by Heini Gruffudd, MA, p. 48 Gwatcyn was the original spelling, then Watcyn. Also there are Watcyn William or William ap Watcyn, the latter being William son of Watcyn. This was and still is to some degree a Welsh naming convention, names reversed from father to son. The president of the St David Society here is Brian Llwellyn ap Dafydd, Llwellyn son of David.


The Watkins in America: Jamestown Colony 1600's

The Watkins family originated in Wales, UK, migrating to America in early 1600. This old and distinguished name is found on the records in the English colony of Jamestown.

James Watkins name is on the list of passengers on the 1st supply ship arriving in Jamestown in January 1608. He is listed as a laborer. His name does not appear in the 1623 census list.

Jamestown was situated on a peninsula in the James River. The mortality rate was high due to the unhealthy living conditions produced by the marshy environment

Captain John Smith founded the colony in 1607. Smith named Watkins Point (near Jamestown) for James Watkins who accompanied him on the expedition, which had to have been in 1608.

According to family lore there were three Watkins brothers that came from Wales to the 1st settlement of Jamestown. Their names are uncertain. The Jamestown census of 1624 showed only these three Watkins. They settled on the Eastern Shore.

1. Daniel Watkins 2. Henry Watkins 3. Peregree Watkins.

Peregree Watkins is listed as arriving in 1621 on the ship George. He was 24 and head of his household.


Email and Address Information

For confidentiality reasons, we have not included Email and postal addresses in this file. If you're trying to get in touch with someone, contact the editor and we'll let the other party know; it will then be their decision whether or not to respond. 


Words from the Editor

This is essentially an on-line version of Watkins News #14, plus updates every few months. Please send Email to info@dickestel.com.

You can also request copies of any previous issue of the newsletter. Some of them are on line here.

Click on the photos below for a larger view.

--Dick Estel


K.K. and your editor, February 1940

K.K. and your editor, February 1940

Opal, Earl, Orra, Ross, Priscilla (Tillie), Dorr, Kimmel Watkins, 1905
Opal, Earl, Orra, Ross, Priscilla (Tillie), Dorr, Kimmel Watkins, 1905 (Click here for extra large view)
Watkins Family History


Watkins Family


Family Home Page




Updated June 24, 2019