Tricia A. "Trish" Watkins

Tricia A. Watkins ('Trish'), age 44, of Griffith, IN and formerly of Rockford, IL, passed away on Thursday, February 20, 2014. She is survived by her mother, Patricia (Larry) Burke; companion, friend, and last love Daniel Krecik; sisters: Lori (Greg) Williams, Rhonda (Richard) Tavernie, Heather (Tom) Carrier, Tonya Spain; brother: Mark Burke: aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins; and by her loving cats: Lightning, Elsie, Pepe, Tuffy, and Buddy. She was preceded in death by her maternal and paternal grandparents; father, Wilburn; niece, Corin, and uncle, Ken. Trish graduated from Auburn High School and pursued advanced education at several universities. She earned an associate degree from Rock Valley College, and furthered her education at both University of Illinois and South Suburban College. She worked as a quality engineer, where she held several positions with companies in the automotive and aerospace field. Trish traveled to many countries over the years for work and pleasure and was always looking forward to the next excursion. One of her amazing qualities was in meeting people. She could strike a conversation with almost anyone in the most unusual places and was always interested in other's lives and stories. The moments when she could make others laugh and smile brought her the greatest joy. Possessing a wonderful gift for bonding with children, she would often be found playing and talking with the children at family events. Trish enjoyed shopping and craft-making, taking great pride in her jewelry-making and beadwork. She was always curious of new challenges to her artwork, and one could always find her making notes and skimming over articles in books and magazines for the future projects to be created by her hands. She loved television and movie mystery series, crossword puzzles, and music, particularly that of Prince. One could often catch her dancing around the house, lost in her own thoughts, while she was going through the day's rituals. Trish loved to read, and consumed books with a singular intensity. You could tell which ones she had finished by the dog eared pages, highlighted phrases, and underlined words. She enjoyed listening and reading spiritual, empowering, and philosophical messages. Believing the game of life was best traveled well dressed and in the right pair of heels, she knew when you arrived somewhere was not as important, if you looked good getting there. Just recently she had newly discovered a passion for running. Over the last year, she had competed in a number of local races, sharing this newfound passion together with her constant companion, Daniel. Her departure was sudden, and leaves us all with a great hole in our lives. In looking around the rooms where she spent her days, we are reminded of her many plans, projects, and ideas that remain unfinished. She was taken too soon from those who knew and loved her. With her passing she chooses to help others by donating from the body she no longer needs, to help others she had yet to meet. Funeral services will be held on Friday, February 28, 2014 at 7:00 PM at White Funeral Home, 921 W. 45th Ave., Griffith with Fr. Theodore Mens officiating. Cremation will follow services. Friends may meet with the family on Friday February 28, 2014 from 2:00-7:00 PM at the funeral home. A Celebration of Life service will be held Saturday, March 1, 2014 from 1:00-4:00 PM at Sahara located at 7400 Forest Hills Road, Loves Park IL 61111 (lower level). For information, please call White Funeral Home at (219) 924-4100.

Published in The Times from Feb. 27 to Feb. 28, 2014