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John W. Watkins
John W. WatkinsFFAJohn W. Watkins, 87, long-time Prospect businessman, educator and former Marion County Commissioner, died unexpectedly Wednesday morning, February 15, 2017 in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

He was born June 25, 1929 in Radnor to the late John J. and Lucille (Benzler) Watkins. †On July 26, 1953 he married the former Jacquelyn June Osborn in Radnor, and she died June 22, 1998. †He was also preceded in death by his step-mother, Mable Watkins, sisters-in-law, Dorothy Watkins, Elizabeth Coonfare and Charlotte Watkins.

A 1947 Graduate of Radnor High School, he received his Bachelor's Degree in 1951 and Master's Degree in 1959 from The Ohio State University in Agricultural Education.

John spent 16 years teaching at Waldo, Prospect and Elgin schools. †In 1967 he became a Vo-Ag Supervisor with the State Department of Education serving schools in northwest Ohio, and retired in 1984. †A staunch republican, he served as Marion County Commissioner from 1984-2000. †

John was a very civic-minded person, as evidenced by his many active memberships. †Among them were, lifetime member of the American Vocational Association, Ohio Educational Association, Honorary American Farmer Degree, 65 year Mason member of Hiram Lodge #18 F&AM in Delaware, Aladdin Shrine, NRA, NEA, member of the Prospect and Delaware Senior Citizens, member of the Ohio Farm Bureau, member of The Prospect United Methodist Church, Superintendent of the National FFA Dairy contest, supervisor of the Vo-Ag state judging contest (which he was asked to come back and judge this past November 2016), introduced the Marion County Hall of Fame, promoted Marion County Park District, Scioto Conservancy District and the Ed Huber Association, owned and operated the former Prospect Laundromat, inducted into the Ohio Agricultural Council Hall of Fame, owner / Broker of Prospect Realty.

Family was always at the core of Johnís life, from making his home in Prospect the center of activity, to his love affair with Hessel, Michigan where he maintained a vacation home that all of his family enjoyed over the years, this legacy of family togetherness was paramount to John. Sunday family dinners, supporting the Ohio State Buckeyes, Elgin Comets and North Union Wildcats, snowmobiling, waterskiing, traveling all over the world, attending sporting events were just some of the things that John enjoyed with family and friends.

He is survived by four daughters, Deborah (William) Boyle, Bellefontaine; Susan (Marc) Ahmay, Prospect; Krista (Tim) Sullivan, Marion; Judith Anderson, Prospect; a son, Thomas (Julie) Watkins, Hessel, Michigan; twelve grandchildren, Aric (Brandy) Stover, Jennifer Gossett, Patrick Boyle, Brandi (Jesse) Miller, Kyle Ahmay, Abbey (Nick) Hajjar, Austin (Elizabeth) Sullivan, Sarah Watkins, Benjamin (Tara) Watkins, Katie (Craig) Brandt-Watkins, Kain and Kori Anderson; thirteen great-grandchildren, Bailee and Alivia Stover, Makayla Stover, Maria Gossett, Hayze, Nash and Reese Miller, Nickolas and Wesley Hajjar, Thomas, Tanner and Paige Watkins, Lincoln Wakins; a brother, Wayne Watkins, Brookville; brothers-in-law, Richard Coonfare and Harold Watkins, Delaware.

Funeral services will be Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 11:00 AM at the Prospect United Methodist Church with Pastor Carolyn Christman officiating. †Burial will follow in Prospect Cemetery. †Friends may call Monday from 2 to 8 PM at the Elgin High School Cafetorium 1150 Keener Road South Marion, OH 43302. Visitors are asked to use the Athletic entrance.

Memorial Gifts may be made to the Marion Community Foundation at 504 State St. Marion, Ohio 43302 for the John & Jackie Watkins Scholarship, checks should be made to the Marion Community Foundation with John Watkins in the memo.

Condolences and remembrances may be expressed at www.stofcheck-ballinger.com

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#1 from: Jane Ballinger
Prospect, Ohio
Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 1:12 PM

My heart is breaking for the Watkins' family. John Watkins will be missed by many. Love your family.
Jane Ballinger

#2 from: Virg and Jani Rankin
Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Susan, so sorry to hear of the passing of your Dad.  I know how much you loved him.  You will always have such good memories.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

#3 from: Gary & Linda Mohr
221 Saint Claire Dr.
Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 4:21 PM

Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. John was such a great man, he will be missed by all who knew him. †

Gary and Linda Mohr

#4 from: Tom Archer
Columbus, OH
Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 6:10 PM

To John's Family,

I was lucky enough to know John for over 45 years; he was my vo. ag. district supervisor as I began my teaching career in Delaware, OH.  Then over the last twenty years I constantly saw him at various Extension and County Commissioner events.  He always had a big and warm smile, firm hand shake, and interest in what I was doing. He was one of the pillars of my life, and I will miss those opportunities.

#5 from: Becky Jacobs Rynders
Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 6:56 PM

Have so many wonderful memories of your Dad.  I was secretary to the Vo AG room when I was in High School.  John and my cousin Lowell Hedges kept me hoping type tests, reports, State Farmers degrees etc.  I loved every bit of it.  Prayers are with your family as you keep his memories alive also.
Becky Jacobs Rynders
Abilene, TX

#6 from: Tim Wood
marion, ohio
Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 12:40 PM

I was honored to have know John as a past State FFA Officer in the late 70's. I don't ever remember him to have had a bad day :) always positive and interested in what you had to say.
We traveled to many meetings together in his old Mercedes that he would brag had 350,000 miles and still ran like a top :)

John will be truly missed and was certainly an inspiration to so many youth across the state.

Thanks for your passion and love of agricultural education John Watkins.

#7 from: Marke & Denise Lyon
Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 2:35 PM

So very sorry for your loss.. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.
Marke & Denise Lyon

#8 from: Barbara McNeal Teague
8298 Meadowmoore, Pickerington, Ohio
Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 3:55 PM

My sincere sympathy.  John was a special person in the McNeal family.  His help in handling the sale of the family farm was amazing.  A true gentleman.
Barbara McNeal Teague

#9 from: R.K.Davis
Colorado and Ohio
Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 4:46 PM

John was a valued fraternity brother. We went through OSU at the same time.He married a nice girl and had a good family and a successful career. He was a skilled people person and politician. I left an early impression on John because of a rambunctious pony that his father bought from my father at Richwood when John was no more than 10 or 11 years old. That pony kicked John and left a sizable scar on his cheek that was still there when we were at OSU but the scar disappeared over time so that it was not obvious by the time I got back to teaching and Extension at Ohio State in the '90s and John and I got reacquainted. In recent years I enjoyed dropping in on John in his log home on Hoskins road but most of the time he was somewhere else snowmobiling or jet skiing probably. He enjoyed an active life right to the end. I saw him last September and he was hale and hearty and very much a Republican. He will be missed in many ways.

Fraternally, R.K.Davis  

#10 from: Carroll Dix Bosse
Worthington, Oh
Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 5:02 PM

So sorry for the loss of John, he will be remembered by all that knew him.  Prayers and sympathy to all of his family.

#11 from: Mrs. Merle Landon
Ft. Pierce, Fl.
Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 5:19 PM

Watkins Family
 Sorry for your loss. My deepest sympathy. May the fond memories, and friends be of comfort during this time of loss.

#12 from: Bob Buckley
Oregon city, Oregon
Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 5:24 PM

My condolences to John's family.  My first four years of teaching were at Prospect High School.  John was such a wonderful colleague.  His friendship and happy demeanor made my introduction to teaching enjoyable.  He shared tips and his experiences generously with me.

#13 from: Ralph& Patty Russell
Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 5:44 PM

We are so sorry to hear of the loss of your father.  May you find comfort in the wonderful memories you made as a family

#14 from: Steve Whitaker
Prospect, OH
Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 8:15 PM

John made it possible for Shirley ,myself and our four children to move here 30 years ago.This community has become part of the fabric of our entire family and Home to Community Christian Fellowship Church.None of this would have been possible had John not made a hopless real estate deal happen years ago. John has remained a good friend to my family over the years. We will miss the spirited conversations at our Church meals and Elgin events. To you five Chilfren and your families we will keep all of you in prayer for your comfort. God bless you all Pastor Steve Whitaker.

#15 from: Leslie Legge
Doylestown, Ohio
Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 8:23 PM

To the entire Watkins Family,  I express my deepest sympathies.  Prayers for all of you.  May you find strength in knowing that he rests in peace.

#16 from: Ben & Linda Schmidt Creasap
Marion, OHIO
Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 9:17 PM

Hearts and prayers and love for the Watkins family!  He was such a kind man and will always remember his smile.  So sorry for your loss.

#17 from: Fred & Susi Rinehart
5934 Curren Rd prospect Oh 43342
Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 9:47 PM

Years ago we bought land on Curren Road and met a man named John Watkins. He very quickly became our friend. I have enjoyed his friendship for years and love listening to his stories about the house that we live in. He was always there when we needed him and I will miss my friend. May God give his family much peace.

#18 from: Shelley (Stiffler) Daubenmire
Salisbury, North Carolina
Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 10:20 PM

So very sorry to hear of the passing of Johnny! He was such a great family man and a friend to all who had the pleasure of knowing him! He will be reunited with Jackie! My thoughts and prayers are with the entire family!! May God wrap his Loving arms around each of you!!

#19 from: Jeff & Suzy Wall
Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 10:44 PM

Our deepest sympathy to all the family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.                  Jeff & Suzy  Wall

#20 Private  Log in to view.

#21 from: Steve & Holly Dexter
4230 Benzler Rd Marion
Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 10:55 PM

So sorry to here about John he was a good man always enjoyed talking to him he amazed me on how he traveled everywhere keeping the family in our prayers God Bless

#22 from: Nancy Kinney
Venice, Florida
Sat, Feb 18, 2017 at 12:16 AM

My sincere condolances to John's family. Working for John while he was a County Commissioner, was an enjoyable experience. I'm sorry to hear of his passing. Praying for all of his family as I'm sure they will miss him greatly as well as the community.
Nancy Kinney

#23 from: Holly Schultz
Sat, Feb 18, 2017 at 6:13 AM

So sorry for your loss, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

#24 from: Sarah Clevenger
Marion, Ohio
Sat, Feb 18, 2017 at 6:39 AM

I have many fond memories of John growing up. I'm keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers. So sorry for your loss. John was a pillar in the community and your family and will be greatly missed.

#25 from: Dan and Carol (Lauer) Knoch
Hillsdale, Michigan
Sat, Feb 18, 2017 at 7:33 AM

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Watkins family.   May the peace of the Lord carry you through this difficult loss.  

#26 from: Carrie Yoder
Bellefontaine, OH
Sat, Feb 18, 2017 at 8:47 AM

So sorry for your family's loss. Love and prayers to you.

#27 from: Toni Scholten
Marion, Ohio
Sat, Feb 18, 2017 at 9:31 AM

John was a well-respected, sweet, man that I am honored to have had the pleasure of his acquaintance. Blessings and peace be with his family.

#28 from: Jonda(Steele) Jones
Wheelersburg  Ohio
Sat, Feb 18, 2017 at 10:33 AM

So so sorry to hear of your loss.
So sad to have a dear family member
Depart from us.
Rest Well John.
    Jonda(Steele) Jones

#29 from: Pauline Oehler
Sun City West, AZ
Sat, Feb 18, 2017 at 12:46 PM

Peggy, Tom and I send our deepest sympathy to you today. May the knowledge of your dad's love for you sustain you in the days ahead. We pray that God will ease the pain of your loss.

Pauline Oehler
Tom and Peggy Knickel

#30 from: Rod & Anita Johnson
Laurens, IA
Sat, Feb 18, 2017 at 1:24 PM

Rod and I are sending our love to John's family. What a nice, wonderful, inspiring man you had for a father and grandfather. From the stories you've told me, Krista, his love of life and can-do attitude is one to emulate. May God give you peace, and may you feel the love and care of friends surround you, especially now. <3  

#31 from: LuAnn Ragle
Cedarville, Ohio
Sat, Feb 18, 2017 at 3:28 PM

Susan - I am sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this time. LuAnn (Long) Ragle

#32 from: Eldonna Holt McKinniss
Edison, Ohio
Sat, Feb 18, 2017 at 8:10 PM

I went to church with your family and he also helped me to get my first job at the State FFA office where he worked. He will be missed, he was a great man! Prayers for your family. RIP John.

#33 from: Larry brannan
Iva s.c
Sat, Feb 18, 2017 at 8:24 PM

He was a great teacher.He helped my family and I when our home burned. He was a good friend.

#34 from: James Hoffman
Urbana, Ohio
Sat, Feb 18, 2017 at 9:51 PM

I am saddened to hear of John's passing. He was a friend of the family, and always made me feel like he was happy to see me when I ran into him over the years. He was always friendly and seemed genuinely interested when talking o people. My sympathies are with all of his children. I understand the loss of your father. I miss mine everyday. God bless you.

#35 from: James Hoffman
Urbana, Ohio
Sat, Feb 18, 2017 at 9:58 PM

John was a friend of my family for many years. I remember seeing him by chance over the years and always feeling like he was happy to see me, giving me a handshake and talking for a while. Prospect has lost one of its finest residents. All of my sympathies go to John's children. I understand the pain of losing such a great father. God bless you.

#36 from: David & Judith Gast
Sun, Feb 19, 2017 at 6:06 AM

We are sorry to hear of your father's passing and offer our sincere condolences to the family.
He will be missed by all who knew him.

#37 from: Larry and Stephanie Gakle
Saline and Hessel Mi
Sun, Feb 19, 2017 at 7:50 AM

John was one of a kind! One of the best days of our life was when we met him. He put in motion a plan in Hessel that would change our lives and forever make us all family....something that was  paramount to Johns being.  We will treasure all the memories we have made over the years. Love to all the Watkins family.

#38 from: Peggy Lane Penry
Radnor oh
Sun, Feb 19, 2017 at 8:59 AM

So sorry to hear of John passing he was such a nice man. He will be missed. Peggy (Lane) and Mict Penry/James Lane/don Lane/Jack Lane

#39 from: Brad Moffitt
Radnor, OH
Sun, Feb 19, 2017 at 4:02 PM

John was a mentor and friend to many. In May of 1983, I walked into my first interview for teaching Ag at Ridgedale High School. Ridgedale HS Principal Steve Oborn anchored one side of the desk, on the other side sat John Watkins. That started my relationship with John as he was my first area supervisor.  Although is title was "district supervisor," hiis influence on young and veteran Ag teachers was present across the state, even after he retired. In 2005, I found myself in the same Dept of Ed supervisory position John had occupied at one point... I quickly solicited his guidance and his wisdom, which helped me get off to a good start in that position. When I moved to Radnor in 2007, I was able to see John regularly and he was a welcoming neighbor and friend. His contributions to career tech/vocational education and to education as a whole are impossible to measure. How fortunate we are to have had John's influence as a teacher, supervisor, mentor, and friend. He will be missed.  

#40 from: Rita Headington Parker
Sun, Feb 19, 2017 at 6:31 PM

My sincere sympathy to the Watkins Family.  John was a fine educator and a friend for life.
Rita Rubeck Headington Parker, EHS Librarian/Media Specialist  1965-1994

#41 from: Mary Howell
Marion, Ohio
Sun, Feb 19, 2017 at 10:47 PM

My deepest sympathy to the Watkins family in the passing of your father,John. May you find comfort in the wonderful memories you have of him.  Your  beautiful family is in my prayers.  Mary Howell

#42 from: Ken Fryman
Hoskins Rd, Radnor, Ohio
Mon, Feb 20, 2017 at 11:17 AM

John was my neighbor and life long friend.  I always enjoyed stopping by his place and talking about local/national politics, local news, farming, family, hunting, and just about anything that was on our minds.  His honesty and integrity were beyond reproach--qualities I tremendously admired. He will be greatly missed not only by me but by the entire community.  Rest in peace, John.  You have passed your torch on to the next generation.

#43 from: Judy Derringer-Hahn
Mon, Feb 20, 2017 at 11:27 AM

Debbie and family,
  So very sorry to hear of your fathers passing. He was a good man and leader. My mother (Betty) had much respect for him and she enjoyed working with John at the courthouse.
  Hang on to the memories and talk of him often with the children and grt-grandchildren. John's influence and love will continue. Prayers to family.


#44 from: Bo and Marti Simmons
Marion, Ohio
Mon, Feb 20, 2017 at 2:57 PM

Krista,Tim and family,

We are so sorry for the passing of your father.  Our prayers and sympathy go out to you and all your family.

Bo and Marti Simmons

#45 from: Mike Orahood
Mon, Feb 20, 2017 at 3:08 PM

John was such an inspiration to me throughout time. He always would make the time to talk even if he was late for something else. Such a wonderful person. This community has lost a magnificent leader and will be missed by many. He had called me a week ago passing his condolences to me with the loss of my mother, Anne Orahood, a couple of weeks ago and I told him that he needed to take care of himself as well. Well, I guess they are all together again. May God bless your families and know that heaven has received another wonderful angel.

#46 from: Karen K. Smith
Lakeland, FL 33815
Mon, Feb 20, 2017 at 9:11 PM

To all the "Watkins kids" & families,
Please accept our deepest sympathy in the passing of your dear dad. He
was one of Prospect's icons that we just kind of expected would be there forever.
Remembering you in your loss,
Steve & Karen (Kirby) Smith

#47 from: Krsitn Guthrie
Tue, Feb 21, 2017 at 2:48 PM

What an AMAZING Man!!!   Touched so many lives and a role model TO MANY.   Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.  

#48 from: Wayne VanBrimmer
Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 7:13 AM

Our condolences to the Watkins family. John's energy and enthusiasm will be greatly missed. We especially enjoyed talking OSU football and basketball with him when he visited the shop. Our thoughts and prayers will be with John's family.

#49 from: Stu & Sharry Long
Lebanon, Ohio
Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 8:36 AM

Our sympathies to the family.  We'll always remember John's kindness & outgoing personality.  He was a good man!

#50 from: Sylvia Miller Hack
Powell  oh 43065
Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 9:17 PM

Was so sorry to read of your father's passing. He was so good to help us sell my parents home (Kenneth Miller) He was a good friend to oure tire

#51 from: Dr. Terry Hughes
833 West William Delaware, OH 43015
Wed, Mar 1, 2017 at 9:19 AM

I've know John since 1999. He is one of my best patient. He brings the Aura of Love and Confidence. Everybody gets excited when they know he is coming to visit. We will miss you John.
Our deepest condolence and sympathy,

Pacer Dental
Terry L. Hughes, DDS

#52 from: Paul Wright
Dublin, Ohio
Wed, Mar 1, 2017 at 3:12 PM

My sympathies to everyone in the family.
I was a student teacher under John in Prospect in 1959. That was a great experience. I looked forward to being under John's tutelage daily. He introduced me to people during the student teacher experience with whom I have continued contact over the many years. One of the fun things we did was to take the class pest hunting. I still have some of those pictures.
I also knew John when he had an office at The Ohio State University.My office was just a few doors down the hallway.
John was a friend to everyone. He had a great personality. We belonged to some of the same agricultural orgainizations and it was always a pleasure to have a conversation and catch up on things.
I wish the very best to each of you.
Paul L. Wright

#53 from: Larry Long
Fri, Mar 3, 2017 at 4:19 PM

So sorry to hear of John's passing.  I had the opportunity to work with him while he was county commissioner.  He was such a good friend!

#54 from: Larry Long
Fri, Mar 3, 2017 at 4:19 PM

So sorry to hear of John's passing.  I had the opportunity to work with him while he was county commissioner.  He was such a good friend!

#55 from: Vincent Schroeder
Leipsic, Ohio
Sat, Mar 4, 2017 at 8:03 AM

I am so sorry on John's passing. I will pray that our Lord has mercy and I am sure John is with our Lord.
He was my mentor when I taught Vo Ag at Leipsic. He guided me and held me to be the best I could be. I have great respect for John. Please know that you have my condolence. Vince

#56 from: Jerome Donovan
Delaware, Ohio
Sun, Mar 5, 2017 at 6:27 PM

I have had the honor of knowing John since 1958 as an FFA Member, state and national officer in the FFA. He was one of my heroes, never knowingly having a bad day. Always smiling and interested in talking. I will miss all those conversations. John is one that will never be replaced. My sympathy is with the Watkins family. God Bless

#57 from: Lakesha
Fri, Mar 10, 2017 at 6:54 AM

Corruption can be active or incidental.  Bush’s brand is actively and incidentally corrupt.  The worst sort is that which believes it is ultimately noble, and willingly makes ethical compromises because of that delusion. We need objective leaders, willing to make mistakes while willing to admit them.  Refusing to accept rebnspoisility resonates throughout the land and makes of us a culture of weasels.

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