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Ruth Virginia "Ginny" Watson-Graham

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Ruth Virginia "Ginny" Watson-Graham Obituary
Ruth Virginia "Ginny" Watson-Graham

HEATH: A Funeral Mass for Ruth Virginia "Ginny" Watson-Graham, 96, of Heath, will be held at St. Leonard Catholic Church, 11:00 A.M., Saturday, August 23, 2014 with Fr. William Hritsko as celebrant. Interment will follow in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery.

Ginny passed away at the Chapel Grove Assisted Living Center, Heath, on Monday, August 18, 2014. She was born in St. Joseph, Missouri (home of the pony express) on September 25, 1917, to the late John Sr. and Ruth (Peterson) Shanklin.

While working for a radio show in Missouri, Ginny met and later married Eugene Watson on November 13, 1939. Together they traveled and lived in Colorado, California, Missouri, and in 1960, settled in Ohio with their family. Ginny became an active parishioner of St. Leonard Catholic Church, Heath, where she was a Mass greeter, bingo worker, cantor and member of the choir, Marriage Encounter participant, and former President of Mary's Guild.

Following the death of Eugene, Ginny moved to Florida in 1980, and eventually met and married Sam Graham. While in Florida, Ginny was a parishioner of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, and continued her many roles as volunteer. With her fellow cantors and choir members, Ginny toured Rome and sang for Pope John Paul II during their participation with the Papal audience. She also belonged to the theater group, Friday Night Livelies, where she was an actress and helped write scripts.

After Sam's passing, from 1995-2008, Ginny lived with each of her children for several years. Ginny created many friendships along the way, and became a member of several groups, including, The Great Club, St. Anne's Circle, Mexican Train Dominoes Club, The Breakfast Club, and The Swimming Friends Group. She was fortunate to take several trips out of the country, including Mexico City, Mexico; Sweden; Ireland; Germany (twice); Spain; the holy land. She even made it to Hawaii with an old childhood friend.

In December, 2008, Ginny returned to Heath, creating several more friendships at her home of Chapel Grove.

She will be sadly missed her children and their spouses, Gretchen and Bernie Madrid of White Oak, Texas; Michael and Carla Watson of Indianapolis, Indiana; Pattie and Tom Herr of Heath, Ohio; and Rodger Watson of Austin, Texas; 11 grandchildren; 32 great grand children; 21+ great-great grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; and many friends.

In addition to her parents, Ginny was preceded in death by her two husbands, Eugene Joseph Watson in 1979, and Samuel Graham in 1991; her brother, John Shanklin, Jr. "Buddy"; and two grandchildren, Katrina Madrid and Eugene Joseph Madrid.

Friends and family may call from 5-7 P.M., Friday, August 22, 2014 at the REED-EGAN FUNERAL HOME, 141 Green Wave Drive, Newark, Ohio, where a Rosary Service will be held at 6:30 P.M.

The family requests that memorials be made to the Foundation for Hospice of Central Ohio, PO Box 430, Newark, OH 43058.

To share your memory of Ginny or leave a condolence for the family, please visit


Published in the Advocate from Aug. 20 to Aug. 21, 2014
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