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Harry Watkins

1925 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
Harry Watkins Obituary
Watkins, Harry

Harry Watkins of 204 Genesee Street, Montour Falls left earth on September 24, 2013. Harry was born February 7, 1925 in Detroit to Mary Louise Jackson and Harry J. Watkins. Harry was predeceased by his parents; his brothers, Robert (Cleo) and Eddie; his former wife and mother of his children, Shirley Mann-Smith; and his daughter-in-law, Kevin's wife, Ava. He leaves behind his loving children, Theresa (Charles) Callahan, Englewood,CO, Stephen (Debra), Trumansburg, NY, Kevin, Fayetteville, GA, Judith (Janey Jackman), Parker, CO, Lisa (Kelly) Hersh, Irving, TX. Grandchildren, Daniel, Peter, Anwar and Mariah, Great Grandchild, Camilla. Helen, Melvin, Robert and Greg have lost an uncle and Nate and Natalie a great uncle. A beloved fixture in whatever community he was in, Harry made the most of life, challenging boundaries, expanding perception and championing knowledge and education throughout his lifetime. Drafted by the USN for WWII Harry started work at Corning, Inc. in 1943. Harry became an accomplished glass blower. With the exception of his time at Tuskegee, Harry continued to work at Corning in multiple roles until retirement as a lab technician. Two patents were awarded bearing his name during his tenure. Harry worked additional jobs in Ithaca at the Box Car, Ichabod and other locations. This afforded the family the opportunity to join him in his true passion, horses and polo. After retiring from Corning in 1985, Harry moved to Kentucky to follow his passion for horses and worked for Equine Science. Upon his return to NY, Harry continued to work with any teen or young adult to offer guidance and mentoring always glowing with their successes. With frequent trips to Colorado to see family, Harry developed lasting friendships out west and treasured his time there. Friends would take him to the opera one night and the rodeo or cattle auctions the following day and then the horse track the next. Harry considered himself to be the luckiest man on earth with the family and community that surrounded him and supported him. His passion for life and the people around him made that support easy. Recently, Harry and his close friend, Roger Araujo has taken another of his passions, music and introduced Opera Night to Montour Falls. The family would like to invite you to a celebration of the life of Harry Watkins, Saturday October 5th at 2pm, Trumansburg Conservatory of Fine Arts, McLallen Street, Trumansburg. Vedder and Scott Funeral Home will be handling the arrangements. To send the family a condolence, please visit

Published in Ithaca Journal from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1, 2013
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