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EDISON: Edward Watkins, age 78, of Edison, died early Wednesday morning, July 27, 2011, at the Woodside Village Care Center following a three year illness.
On January 12, 1933, Eddie was born in Willard, Ohio, the son of the late William and Ellen (Barnett) Watkins.
While he was still attending school, Eddie was fixed up on a date with Orpha Hedrick, whom he would quickly become smitten with. They would be married soon thereafter on September 8, 1950, and they would share over forty one wonderful years together. She preceded him in death on January 1, 1992.
After leaving school to care for his family, Eddie went to work on the railroad in Willard for several years until he and Orpha moved to Mount Gilead in 1951 to be closer to her family. Upon arriving in Mount Gilead, he found work at the H.P.M. Corporation, where he worked as a machinist for over 47 years.
In addition to working at H.P.M., Edward also served as the chief of police in Edison for over 10 years from 1963 to 1973. He also was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police, the Galion Moose Lodge, and the Mount Gilead AmVets Post 87.
During his teenage years, Eddie found that he loved and excelled in boxing. He was also proud to have been a Golden Glove Box in 1948.
An avid weight lifter, Edward enjoyed body building from the time he was young through most of his life.
A man of solitude, Edward could be best described as strong willed and determined.
Eddie will be dearly missed by his two sons: Rick Watkins and Mike (Sheryl) Watkins, both of Mount Gilead; two daughters: Mardee (Jerry) Lang of Marion, and Linda (Jim) Jenkins of Marengo; 13 grandchildren: Chuck, Marla, Bobbie, Matt, Mark, Chad, Eric, Michael, Vincent, Heidi, Amanda, Jennifer and Jessica; 23 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild; a brother, Tony (Frances) Watkins; two sisters: Mary Stevens and Cleo Keaton all three of Willard, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Including his wife and parents, Eddie was preceded in death by his brother, James Watkins.
The Watkins family will greet friends from 10:00 a.m. to noon, on Friday, July 29, 2011, at the Snyder Funeral Home, 76 S. Main St., Mount Gilead. Services honoring his life will follow immediately at noon. Burial will follow in Rivercliff Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made the Kidney Foundation of Ohio, 2831 Prospect Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44115-2606.
Snyder Funeral Homes is honored to have been chosen to serve Eddie's family, and condolences may be expressed to them at www.snyderfuneralhomes.com.
Published in the Marion Star on July 28, 2011