Robert  Watkins

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Robert J. Watkins, of Lowell, KS, went to be with the Lord on Monday, April 22, 2019.
He was born Robert Braxton Watkins on October 26, 1929, in Garden Township, Cherokee County, KS, to Cecil Edward and Ida (Mace) Watkins. He was named after his grandfather, Robert Braxton Mace. Upon enlistment into the United States Air Force, his name was changed to Robert J. Watkins.
Robert lived and attended school in Trego, MT as a child. He graduated from Riverton High School in 1947.
He joined the United States Air Force in 1948. Robert served in the Air Force from 1948 to 1955. He served with the 20th Air Force in Okinawa at the start of the Korean War; he was in the 9th Air Vehicle Repair Unit. Robert received the Occupation of Japan Medal.
Robert was a husband, father, brother, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather. He was one of 11 children born to Ida and Cecil Watkins.
He married Marilyn Joyce Aldridge, on March 27, 1954, at London Heights Methodist Church in Kansas City. They celebrated 50 years of marriage in 2004. They had five children, two daughters and three sons; 13 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.
Robert attended Lowell Friends Church and Tennessee Prairie Friends Church as a child. He gave his life to the Lord in 1969, at Lowell Friends Church, where he later served as a church board member and usher. After moving to Kansas City, he attended Bethel Glenn Nazarene Church, where he served as a church board member, usher and Sunday school teacher, as well as singing in the choir. Robert returned to Lowell Friends Church and later to the Independent Bethel Baptist Church, in Joplin, MO. He also served as a Boy Scout leader and Little League coach.
Robert was a lifetime member of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers. He worked 30 years as a journeyman iron worker and worked in all phases of the trade including general foreman, foreman, and certified welder. Over the years he worked with Kansas City Local #10, Denver Local #24, Albuquerque Local #495, and Tulsa Local #584. Robert retired from Kansas City Local #10 after 30 years.
Robert was considered a Master Gardener, having won many awards for his fruits, vegetables and flowers at the county fair. He also loved to build houses and wooden crafts. His favorite hobby was fishing and his favorite fishing hole was Big Hill Lake. After retirement he loved to travel, especially to Yellow Stone and Montana.
Robert was preceded in death by his parents, Cecil and Ida Watkins; his wife, Marilyn Joyce Watkins; six brothers, John, Cecil, Clifford, Henry, Donald and Darwin Watkins; along with two sisters, Dorothy Hayes and Mary Ann Setter.
Robert is survived by two daughters, Audrey Chubb and Andrea Abbott; and three sons, Robert, Gary and Kelly Watkins; and two sisters, Helen June Bateman and Joyce Dean Dills. He is also survived by his closest grandchildren, Aaron Neet, Carrie McInurff, Andrew Moreno, Ashley Daniel, Landon and Logan Abbott. Additionally, he is survived by his favorite "Littles", Kairi, Emlyn and Nash McInturff, Gabriel, Olivia and Greyson Neet, Wyatt and Owen Daniel, Elise and Elias Moreno.
No family visitation will be scheduled. A closed casket service will be held 2 p.m., Sunday, April 28, at Derfelt's Baxter Chapel. Pastor Casey Davidson will officiate. Internment, with military funeral honors, will be at Lowell Cemetery following the services.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested contributions to the American Heart Association, the American Stroke Association and the Alzheimer's Association.
Arrangements are under the direction of Derfelt's Baxter Chapel.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.derfeltfuneralhomes.com.
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Published on April 24, 2019
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