Clifford "Gerald" Watkins

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Clifford "Gerald" Watkins, 86, of Rome, passed away in his home surrounded by his family on February 28, 2016 following a lengthy battle with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. Mr. Watkins was born in Anniston, Alabama on April 15, 1929 and was the son of the late Alex G. Watkins and Edna Chitwood Watkins. He was a 1948 graduate of Anniston High School, Anniston, Alabama and a 1950 graduate of Coyne Electrical School, Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Watkins is a veteran of the United States Army, having served on active duty from 1950 to 1952 and in the reserves until 1956. He married the late Bernice Huckaby Watkins on November 24, 1951 in Anniston, Alabama. He moved to Rome in 1954 as one of the first employees of the Georgia Kraft Company, and retired in 1991. Mr. and Mrs. Watkins were charter members of Garden Lakes Baptist Church and enjoyed many trips with the Gadabouts. He cherished his retirement years and spent countless hours working on projects in his workshop. He was an avid water skier and enjoyed spending time with family and friends at their home on Weiss Lake. In addition to his parents, Mr. Watkins was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Bernice Huckaby Watkins, on June 5, 2014. Mr. Watkins is survived by his son, Donnie Watkins and his wife, Terry Meers Watkins and their children Colden Watkins (Ashley) and Lauren Watkins (Noah Pulley), of Evans, Georgia; daughter, Susan Watkins Babcock and her husband, Bob, of Rome and their children, Bradley Pollard (Kathryn), Allen Babcock and Andrew Babcock; daughter, Leigh Ann Watkins Gibson and her husband, Kenneth, Rome, and their children John Chaffin, Ben Chaffin, Abby Chaffin, Kathryn Gibson and Brooks Gibson. Raised as an only-child, Mr. Watkins cherished the large extended family that he gained upon his marriage in 1951. Preceding him in death are Fred and Gladys Dethrage, Bill and Betty Huckaby and Chester Huckaby, all of Anniston. Surviving family includes brother-in-law Lester Huckaby and his wife, Agnes and sister-in-law, Barbara Huckaby; nephews and nieces David (Kathy Jo) Dethrage, Randy (Terri) Huckaby, Daniel (Sharon) Huckaby, Mack (Lisa) Huckaby and Mark (Holly) Huckaby, all of Anniston; Cyndi (Mark) McMahan, Wyoming; Denise (Alan) Medders, Columbus; Donna (Rickie) Shaw, of Birmingham. Other extended family includes 18 great- nieces and nephews. Also surviving are his "Lake Family" Betty Chamblee and Dee Poland. The family will receive friends from 12 until 2 on today March 1, 2016 at Garden Lakes Baptist Church, 2200 Redmond Circle, Rome. Funeral service will follow at 2:30 p.m. with Dr. Dan Whitaker officiating. Interment will follow at Oaknoll Memorial Gardens. Grandsons will serve as pallbearers. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Garden Lakes Baptist Church building fund. Parnick Jennings Good Shepherd Funeral Home has charge of arrangements. Please visit
Published in The Anniston Star on Mar. 1, 2016
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