Dr. John Watkins, 87, Minnesota Lake and Wells

Published 9:57 am Friday, March 9, 2012

Dr. John Watkins, 87, of Minnesota Lake and Wells, passed away Wednesday, March 7, 2012, at the Mapleton Community Home in Mapleton. Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the United Methodist Church in Wells. Visitation will be from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Bruss-Heitner Funeral Home in Wells, and again for one hour starting at 9:30 a.m. Monday at the church. Interment will follow immediately at Rosehill Cemetery in Wells. Services will be officiated by the Rev. Joe Ocker and the Rev. Paul Woolverton, with military honors accorded by the Wells Color Guard.

Dr. John Watkins

John was born to Harlow and Selma (Stratte) Watkins on Dec. 30, 1924, in Asheville, N.C., and was raised in Carlton. He joined the Navy during World War II while a student at the University of Minnesota and graduated from medical school there in 1946. During the Korean conflict John served in a MASH unit. He was united in marriage to Jean Larson in 1947 and to this union five children were born. In 1952 the couple moved to Wells where he served as a compassionate family physician for 45 years. John was a member of the United Methodist Church for more than 55 years where he sang in the choir and taught Sunday school. John was also active with Youth for Christ, the Gideons and the KJLY radio station. His community activities included active membership in Kiwanis, the Wells Pilots Association, chairing the Wells Centennial Committee and volunteering medical coverage at school sporting events. He enthusiastically supported his children, grandchildren and youth of the community in athletic and fine arts activities. His wife Jean preceded him in death in September 2005. He was united in marriage to Thelma Greenwald Evanson in October 2008, and the couple made their home in Minnesota Lake. John will be remembered for his compassionate and unselfish life, his love of people and his love for his Lord.

John is survived by his wife, Thelma of Minnesota Lake; daughter, Yvonne (Carter) of Bricelyn and their children: Daniel, Bethany, Rebecca and Jonathan; daughter, Joan Watkins of Minneapolis; son, David (Patty) Watkins of Northfield and their children: Christopher, Colin and Casey; son, Douglas (Nancy) Watkins of Rice and their children: Nicholas and Lars; daughter, Lynne (Jeff) Lyon of Yorktown, Va., and their children: Michaela and Emily; brother, Kenneth of Childersburg, Ala.; sister, Sally (Frank) of Colorado Springs, Colo.; sister, Hally (Charles) Tenney of Casper, Wy.; and sister, Marilyn (Ralph) Stevens of Los Alamos, N.M.

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He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Harold; and his wife, Jean.